Plot: Helen (Sigourney Weaver) has made a career writing about serial killers, to the point she became an obsession to many of the psychopaths. After she was nearly killed by the maniacal Daryll Lee Cullum (Harry Connick, Jr.), she has been a prisoner of her apartment, paralyzed by agoraphobia. But she has paid attention to the outside world, especially a recent chain of killings. She calls the police to offer her assistance, but as she won’t reveal her name, she is brushed off as a crank. When Detective Monahan (Holly Hunter) learns who she is however, she visits Helen and even brings her the case files. Helen has good insights about the killer, but when she is harassed by internet messages and phone calls, she starts to break down. But with more bodies turning up and a pattern of imitating the most famous serial killers, Helen knows she must help capture the killer. But who is behind the murders and how does Helen play into his sick plan?
Entertainment Value: This kind of thriller is a dime a dozen in Hollywood, but Copycat manages to rise a little above the standard. I credit this to having a cool premise, with a killer replicating infamous serial killers and also to the cast, which is deep and stacked with talent. The narrative is good and avoids the cliche of only revealing the killer at the end, instead focusing on the motivations behind the murders. I wouldn’t call the story original or unpredictable, but it does what it needs to and the narrative unfolds in a brisk, entertaining fashion. The cast is pretty loaded too, with Sigourney Weaver and Holly Hunter in the lead roles. Weaver is good as the neurotic Helen, while Hunter’s all business Monahan balances that out. But while the entire cast is pretty rock solid, it is crooner Harry Connick, Jr. who steals this show. His creepy, backwoods serial killer is memorable and a highlight of Copycat. So if you’re into these crime thrillers or just love serial killers, Copycat warrants a look.
I hope you like dead girls naked, as that is what we have in this one. Just dead girl titties as far as the eye can see. Nah, not that many dead naked girls, but you know. On the blood side, we don’t have graphic serial killer torture and murder, but there’s some red stuff. I think the most blood is a result of gunshots, including one beautiful head shot that stands as a highlight. Most of the rest of the carnage happens off screen and we just get to see the finished result. Copycat is well written, so we get minimal goofy dialogue, but Connick, Jr. does have some memorable lines. I think the cherry of the group is when he asks Helen for a pair of her “squirrel covers” in a creepy exchange for information. There’s also fun, smart ass exchanges at times between various characters that yield some humorous moments. Not really much crazier than most of these slick Hollywood crime thrillers, but don’t dismiss Copycat just because it was a mainstream, major studio release.
Overall Insanity: 1/10
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