Plot: The crimes of Leonard Lake and Charles Ng shocked an entire nation, as the two men would imprison, torture, rape, and kill numerous men, women, and even children before their eventual capture. As if these horrific crimes weren’t bad enough, the men also videotaped a good deal of their deviant acts, leaving behind countless tapes filled with brutal images and experiences. Even hardened police officers were shaken by the content of the tapes, such was the extent of the cruel, sadistic actions of these two sick, twisted men. In The Miranda Murders, some of these tapes are revealed, to take us inside the perverse world of Lake and Ng.
Entertainment Value: As someone with an interest in the realm of serial killers, I was curious about The Miranda Murders, as the real life killers did make use of VHS tapes in their crimes, so this was a natural found footage premise. I do think the aesthetic here is on point, the visuals look like the footage could be decades old, which gives the movie a kind of authentic feel. And given how few found footage movies have even a whiff of realism, this is no small task. But beyond the effective visuals, this one fails to get even a little of the raw, twisted essence of the real life crimes. The cast kind of looks like the real people, but it is a real stretch and the actor who plays Lake has no menace at all, not even when he dials up his mean streak. Lake was weak in most ways, but he was able to let out his inner demons once his victims were ensnared, but this actor is unable to convey that deep, inner sickness. The movie runs just over 70 minutes, but has no real narrative beyond some random kills, torture, and rape scenes. This wouldn’t be an issue, but not of these are presented in even slightly graphic ways, while the pace runs slow, even with a short duration. For fans of found footage, the visuals alone make it worth a look, but temper your expectations beyond that.
A brief topless scene and some pasty man ass is all the nakedness. The movie features some other sexual situations, but the girls either keep themselves covered in various ways or the camera is positioned to evade naked flesh. The sex is quite tame and has no sense of tension or malice, but I suppose few filmmakers want to tackle this kind of dark material with intense content. No blood. This one plays it safe and keeps violence to a bare minimum. I do think some scenes have solid tension as the threat of violence looms, but the movie never makes good on those threats. Given the crimes involved, to have minimal sleaze and violence seems like an odd choice. Lake’s incel persona has some humorous moments, while Ng is so annoying you can’t help but laugh at some of his lines as well. Even so, not much that stands out, but since the movie is mostly dull, these few bright spots are quite welcome. I think one point is deserved for the visuals, which do have a fairly authentic look and feel, but otherwise The Miranda Murders shits the bed and is way too tame.
Overall Insanity: 1/10