"In July 2006, aspiring journalist Martin Monahan was reported missing.
The police search of Monahan's home uncovered his most recent project: the first interview with a serial murder not held in captivity. Five days later, authorities received the following footage." These words as constructed on title cards are what catapult Killer View (also known as 'Snuffed') onto the screen. The film, written and directed by Brian O'Connell, is an interesting documentary style look into the life of an anonymous serial killer. The movie splices between criminal and murderous acts being committed by our lead and candid interviews conducted between himself and journalist Martin Monahan.
Giving some raw answers to some raw questions (we learn he moved to L.A. because "sharks go where the fish are"), we get a rare glimpse into the mind of a serial killer unlike any of the Hollywood attempted serial killer movies of the same ilk. In Killer View, the monster is articulate and sane. He is smart and scoffs at how serial killers are generally portrayed in the media and how some of them (Gacy) would dress up like buffoons to near their prey.
Monahan follows his subject and continues filming through the most heinous of crimes which eventually culminate in a home invasion that terrorizes two women and a troubled husband.
An independent film, Killer View shuns a linear timeline to give a dark and unpolished look to a film that gets into the dark corners of where a predator lurks. The focus of the documentary is fascinating in that he (Ben, an alias given to the killer) is so openly frank about his profession and his feelings towards his vocation (he sells video tapes of his killings to rich investors).
Director Brian James O'Connell makes some interesting choices in letting us know the interviewer was killed in a title card in the film's opening moments and with mixing both action shots with a sit-down interview style a la 60 Minutes.
The result is a generally worthy entry into the horror/independent film scene. It was like a Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer done in grindhouse fashion by Stone Phillips of NBC's Dateline. We are thankful we cannot report that it is the most realistic serial killer portrayal ever put on film. That would suggest that we know a serial killer personally. But we do think it is likely a portrait more accurate to how a killer integrates within society and with communicates with others. After all, Ted Bundy was an incredibly articulate man.
The final chapter of the film took away some of the momentum. A Bureau investigator/detective is interviewed about the case and the add on just doesn't feel right or flow with the rest of the film.
But don't let the final moments distract you from searching out Killer View. It joins a short line of independent horror films that brought a fresh and interesting view to a tired genre to the screen and audiences will be sure to appreciate it.
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