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Copycat (2008): Accuracy in Media

Copycat (Andy Hurst, 2008)

A shadowy figure holds up a book with the names of a number of serial killers on it, some crossed off, on the DVD cover.

The Book of Brilliant Things.
photo credit: dvdactive.com

Copycat starts, at least, from an interesting premise, one that I see rarely (but is probably used a lot more than I realize)—a serial killer, instead of developing his own methodology, takes a page (this idiom is not used lightly here, as you will soon see) from the work of famous serial killers before him, and each of his kills is set in a scene staged to re-enact the famous work of his forefathers; the only clue this killer leaves that differs is a page from his diary relating to the killer whose work he is parroting. It’s a great idea, and I imagine that, done well, and with a whole lot of research and interviewing of profilers and the like, someone could take this premise and do a bang-up job with it. Andy Hurst (Wild Things 2), or, more appropriately, screenwriter Ellis Walker (Grim Reaper), don’t take it anywhere near its logical conclusion; instead, they use it as a hook into what is, ultimately, a generic murder mystery, with harried police detective (Hall Pass‘ Chloe Snyder) chasing diabolically evil killer (The Skeleton Key‘s Andreas Beckett). On the other hand, “generic” is an awful lot better than “horrible”. Copycat is a movie that you will likely have forgotten a week after watching it, but it is far form the worst movie I watched that month. It’s not even the worst movie I watched that day (that dishonor goes to Desi Scarpone’s horrifying Dark Town, which landed on my hundred-worst list). One to watch if you’re bored on a Friday night and have nothing better to do. ** ½


Trailer.

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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