Tag Archives: serial killers

Natural Born Killers (1994)

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Natural Born Killers

Time: 118 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1] Graphic violence
Cast:
Woody Harrelson as Mickey Knox
Juliette Lewis as Mallory Knox
Tom Sizemore as Jack Scagnetti
Robert Downey Jr. as Wayne Gale
Tommy Lee Jones as Dwight McClusky
Director: Oliver Stone

Delivery boy Mickey Knox (Woody Harrelson) falls in love with customer Mallory Wilson (Juliette Lewis). He helps her kill her parents and began their journey down Route 666. Every few miles, they attack everyone within their sight, sparing one person to tell the tale. They are made famous by reporter Wayne Gale (Robert Downey Jr.), while being pursued by the equally sadistic Jack Scagnetti.

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Oliver Stone is known for controversy in his films and Natural Born Killers is no exception. This film is quite polarizing; I don’t think everyone who watches this movie will like it. For me, it is a great showcase of acting, writing from Oliver Stone and satire. The style may be distracting but Natural Born Killers does have some elements that are great that are worth noting.

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This film is a satire of the media, public opinion, and the modern attitude toward violence (you really need to know that before watching it) and I think Oliver Stone did a pretty good job at delivering in that aspect. One of the elements of the satire is the fact that these serial killers are killing a lot of people and are being made famous by the media, so famous in fact, that they seem to be celebrities among some people. These two main characters are Bonnie and Clyde of the 90s if they were serial killers. This film also has an unconventional plot, along with it being about two serial killers; the plot mostly just follows them, whether that is the past or present. The first act of this movie was pretty good; it established these two characters and their relationship well. In the second act though my interest started decreasing, that point was when I started to find the style quite distracting as well, the film also slowed down quite a bit. The third act however picks up greatly, I won’t spoil what happens but it’s quite exciting and is even better than the first act. Another thing to mention is the fact that a lot of the characters aren’t that likable. Along with Mickey and Mallory (obviously) a lot of other characters are often quite despicable. Sometimes even some of the people that Mickey and Mallory aren’t that likable, with an exception to a few people. This isn’t a flaw with the movie; it’s just worth mentioning it.

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The acting is superb from everyone. Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis are really believable as these two serial killers who are in love and they really shine in their scenes. Robert Downey Jr. isn’t in the movie a lot but when he’s on screen is absolutely fantastic in his role. Tommy Lee Jones is also seen for a small part near the end of the movie and like Downey Jr., he really makes use of every second of screen time that he has.

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The style is very interesting to say the least. Sometimes the camera filters are a different colour, sometimes it is shot on an angle, and sometimes it cuts to some surreal images; it feels like you are on an acid trip. For the first half of the movie I accepted it and I was okay with it as it seemed to fit with the movie. But at the half way point, this style started to be quite distracting to me. I know that a lot of people loved the style: I thought it was good but for me, it got a little tiring after a while, you really need to prepare yourself for this type of movie.

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Natural Born Killers isn’t a movie that everyone will enjoy. Its style may be distracting, the fact that it’s following characters that aren’t likable (even some of the side characters aren’t that good either) or it might be the violence might repel some people. If you feel like you may like this movie, check it out but be ready for what you are going to see. You’ll either love it or hate it.

Se7en (1995) Review

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Se7en

Time: 127 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1] Violence, sexual themes and content that may disturb
Cast:
Brad Pitt as David Mills
Morgan Freeman as William Somerset
Gwyneth Paltrow as Tracy Mills
Director: David Fincher

Two homicide detectives are tracking down a sadistic serial killer who chooses his victims according to the seven deadly sins. Detective David Mills (Brad Pitt) is a hopeful but naive rookie who finds himself partnered with veteran Detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman). Together they trace the killers every step, witnessing the aftermath of his horrific crimes one by one as the victims pile up in rapid succession, all the while moving closer to a gruesome fate neither of them could have predicted.

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David Fincher is an outstanding filmmaker and really establishes it here after the Alien 3 debacle. He isn’t a stranger to dark movies and none of his others are as dark as this one. Its dark feel captivates and holds the attention of the audience. From start to finish, Se7en is a brilliant, thrilling, horrifying, fascinating and well made movie that contains of the best aspects that Fincher has as a filmmaker.

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The tone of this movie seems to always be dark and that tone is established with its opening credit sequence. The film is captivating from start to finish as we see these two detectives try to solve the murders. The murders that they investigate happen before they appear at the crime scene, so you don’t see the murder in process. Fincher also doesn’t show the murder scenes gratuitously, just as much necessary for the audience to see; we also learn more about how the victims died through discussions afterwards and the rest of it is left to the audience’s imagination. Nonetheless, some of the deaths are particularly gruesome, meaning that this movie is probably not for everyone, particularly the faint of heart. Se7en also has one of the best endings however without spoiling it; it’s not pleasant at all. It is haunting, depressing and a bit disturbing however I think that the ending was perfect for this movie.

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The acting by Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt were very good. The idea of a retiring detective being paired with a rookie cop at first sounds like some buddy cop movies, but it is handled very well as both Freeman and Pitt play their roles with realism. Most of the best scenes in the movie is when it’s just them talking; investigating all those murders gets them talking about things that are just very interesting to watch. The rest of the cast are also really good like Gwyneth Paltrow who makes quite an impact, despite not having as much screen time. I won’t reveal who the killer is played by, but the actor did such a good job playing him and was on the level of Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt as the best performances in the whole movie. Simply put, the killer embodies evil in all its forms, and it is rare to find many performances that does this successfully.

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The film has a bleak dark feeling, which would be later used in a lot of other David Fincher movies. I’ve also noticed that the sun never shines during the movie, it rains a lot and it was often gloomy, which really added to the dark tone. Everything from the lighting, editing and cinematography is so well used to its fullest potential. The soundtrack by Howard Shore is also quite good, adding to the atmosphere.

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David Fincher has successfully created a dark, disturbing film with a lot of atmosphere. Although the deaths didn’t really disturb me, I will say that this film is not for the faint of heart. It is one of Fincher’s best and as long as you know what you are going into before you watch it, it is a brilliant movie.