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Copycat (1995)

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Plot Summary:
"Sigourney Weaver plays a psychiatrist who specializes in serial killers. She suffers from agoraphobia and her only link to the outside world is her computer. A serial killer who copies the methods of famous serial killers (hence the title) threatens her on-line. Holly Hunter plays a cop who is on the trail of the killer. Together they try to identify him and, hopefully, despatch him."

Reviewer: Josh Winning @horrorasylum
Review Date: 31 October 2001 My Rating: out of 5



Isn't it funny that the best thrillers are always the movies that are forgotten by the mainstream audience the quickest? It's almost as if movie-makers and -goers alike are embarrassed that something of such quality and worth can be made, and so all other movies bow down in shame beside them. So (just like Black Christmas), it's under the carpet with the thing, and maybe people will forget that a decent movie can actually be made!

Sigourney Weaver as the fearful Dr. Hudson was phenomenal in what is probably one of her greatest - and most memorable - roles, and her performance had an authenticity that immediately made the viewer feel protective towards her. The scenes in which she is trying to escape from the killer while attempting to overcome her nauseating agrophobia - scenes which are filmed in an intense, loose fashion which helps the viewer see through Hudson's eyes and feel her panic - are the most affecting, but also effective is Weaver's subtle character work which perhaps doesn't help the viewer understand exactly what is happening inside her head, but at least gives an inkling that something is happening.

Beside her, Holly Hunter is kind of restricted to the character functions that Jodie Foster set before her - as an equally fear-less FBI agent - in Silence of the Lambs, but her interaction with co-stars Weaver and Dermot Mulroney (who was also impressive in his role) is believeable, and her affinity for her job makes an interesting stand-point. Interestingly, the formula of the film - a diseased doctor works as the brains for the brute force of a police officer in a murder case - was later regurgitated to a certain degree of success in the Angelina Jolie-led Bone Collector, although here it seems far fresher and original.

With imaginative direction from Jon Amiel - who creates almost unbearable suspense in certain scenes - and an itelligent, inventive script, Copycat is a tour de force of film-making. Unexpected twists in the plot occurr continually and shockingly, and the 'copycat''s super-smart ways of getting under Helen Hudson's skin would chill anybody.

Christopher Young's (does this guy score all the great movies out there?!) dinamic, incidental score is a gritty and emotional masterpiece which gets underneath the viewer's skin and helps them to feel what a character is feeling. Aside from the movie's one main - and almost heart-breakingly beautiful - motif, the rest of the score is a mixed montage of notes and sounds which isolate the fears and pains of characters in that moment, heightening the suspense.

Easily one of the best crafted chillers of recent cinema, Copycat is a rare gem that will grab you from the opening scene right to the final showdown. Weaver and Hunter are gripping in their confident performances.

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