The Clovehitch Killer (2018)

The next film in the EYG Halloween Horror Bingefest is a film that I just found out about today. After watching Charlie Plummer in Spontaneous, I found this one on his IMDB page and it sounded fascinating. I have always had an interest in serial killers, and yes, I know that sounds weird. Yet, they intrigue me and the synopsis of this movie fell right into place. Tyler Burnside (Charlie Plummer) is a normal teen whose life seems too perfect. He is a Boy Scout and his father Don (Dylan McDermott) is the Scoutmaster. In order to impress his girlfriend, Tyler “borrowed” his dad’s new truck, but, when his girlfriend discovered a weird bondage pic in the truck, Tyler gained a reputation as the pervert. Tyler did not understand how that picture got in the truck, so he did a little investigating on his own. During this time, he uncovered evidence that suggested that his father was the infamous Cloverhitch Killer, a serial killer from years ago that was inactive. Tyler teamed up with another girl, Kassi (Madisen Beaty), who had been known to be looking into the Clovehitch case. The tension in this movie is high level and it builds slowly as the film progresses. You think you know what is happening, but there is always a kernel of doubt in your mind. What if Tyler is wrong and he is misinterpreting the evidence? The film does a solid job of keeping the audience on its toes as the suspense builds. Dylan McDermott and Charlie Plummer are fantastic in these roles that take a truly challenging subject and place these characters square in the center. This relationship needed to work for this story to be effective and the connection between father and son is clear here. The imagery of the film is done well and creates an unsettling mood that carries through the movie.  There are some claustrophobic feelings here as the truth begins to come to the surface. The third act changes the format some as we flashback to see Tyler and Kassi’s movements over a time period that we had already seen.  This technique has been used very effectively over the years, and this works here too.  The conclusion of the film is controversial and I can see where some viewers may not have enjoyed it.  I do not want to spoil it, but the conclusion could be divisive.  It did seem to be out of character and made me worry for the future of said character. This is a quiet little movie that deals with some strong character work with some talented actors.  The film does a great job in unnerving the audience and keeps you just uncertain enough to make you question what you know.

3.9 stars   

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