This has hit Netflix here in Australia, reminding me that Holly Hunter and Sigourney Weaver were in this together.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s old, but damn it’s creepy. Even the smooth-talking Harry Connick Jnr manages to be downright creepy as a serial killer Daryl Lee.
But anyway, it’s Sigourney Weaver as Helen, an expert on serial killers, and Holly Hunter as MJ, with Dermot Mulroney as her partner and fellow cop Reuben. They’re the cops investigating a new serial killer, and they have Helen calling them every so often with tips on how to screw up the investigation. As you do when you’ve been attached by a serial killer, and are an agoraphobic who can’t quite let go of her life’s work.
It’s the women as leads that kept me riveted to this. Weaver is playing (wonderfully) against her action hero type, and Holly Hunter is that character – you know the guy cop, intense and charming that everyone can’t help but love? Except, she’s female in this. In fact, there’s a fellow cop she just broke up with, pining over her and reading way too much into her relationship with her partner Reuben. Who in turn finds Helen and her hot mess of issues sweet. I know – a man who finds a woman with emotional issues attractive. Who would have thought it?
Naturally he dies – not by the hands of the serial killer he and MJ are tracking, but in order to further MJ as a character. Which you know we’ve seen far too many female characters die for.
The serial killer in question starts copying killers in the order of Helen’s last lecture before she was attacked, and here again the film goes against type, casting a baby-faced rather cute actor in the role. He manages to bring something suitably vicious to said baby-face.
It’s the women that defy orders and bring the killer to justice, naturally.
MJ is this complicated, nuanced character at ease with herself and her world, and I LOVE LOVE how her ex confesses his love for her and she says “I know”.
Helen is this vulnerable woman who wants to be better and stronger than she is, but the movie actually lets her explore different facets of her character before the end.