Film Scouts Reviews


by Eleanor Ringel

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This tinglingly intense thriller plays cat-and-mouse games with its audience so expertly that....well, you probably haven't spent this much time on the edge of your seat since "Silence of the Lambs." Director Jon Amiel's film isn't quite in that movie's league, but it's close enough. Holly Hunter plays a hard-nosed San Francisco cop on the trail of a cagey serial killer. She enlists the help of Sigourney Weaver, a shrink/author who's an expert on serial killers. She soon figures out - as the title suggests - that the guy is copycatting famous serial killers of the past (Son of Sam, Ted Bundy, etc.) Amiel keeps the movie whipping along, shrewdly alternating the pressure points (from Weaver's apartment, where she's stalked by modem, to politics and gunplay at the police precinct.) All the roles are fleshed out - Dermot Mulroney as Hunter's studly partner, Harry Connick Jr. as an incarcerated killer enlisted a la Hannibal Lector to help catch the current looney. But the focus is on Weaver and Hunter, beginning with the witty reverse physicality of their casting: the imposing Weaver is the quaking woman on the edge while tiny Hunter with her little-girl drawl is the tough cop. Together, they play off each other with Oscar-worthy aplomb. Suspense fans - and fans of good acting and smart scripts - ought to sit up and take notice. Or should that be, line up and buy tickets?

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