Monday 2 October 2023

Movie review: The Craigslist Killer, dir Stephen Kay (2011)

This cosy little movie by New Zealand director Stephen Kay is a keeper, it came out over a decade ago and seems good now. We never had Craigslist in Australia so it’s a bit hard to relate but I liked the early-century vibe when the internet was still a bit of a novelty. 

You can guess the plot roundly from the title – a guy starts robbing people, and kills one he meets on the internet site – but the beauty of this film is in the superior directing, the neat script, and the wonderful acting. I think the whole thing is pitch-perfect and lovely.

It’s hard to remember, now, a time when the internet was a novelty, but it really wasn’t so long ago. Jake McDorman plays Philip Markoff, a medical student who goes online behind his fiancee’s back to make liaisons with masseuses so that he can get money to feed his gambling addiction. During the day he sparkles as the top med student and at night he turns into a homicidal creep. McDorman is matched with Agnes Bruckner as Megan McAllister. Based on a true story the website took down the particular page Markoff used after the crisis played out in Boston.

What I liked most about this film is the way everything fit perfectly into place. There’s not an instant of dead time, no unnecessary shots, like a lace collar on a Renaissance gentleman. I really can’t say enough good things about ‘The Craigslist Killer’ and I’m glad I bookmarked it. I’m not sure when I bookmarked the film but it would’ve been a while ago because I don’t remember doing it. I am a fan of crime dramas so it’s no surprise that I did.

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