The Horror Honeys: Profile of a Killer - Attention is power

Profile of a Killer - Attention is power

A Head Honey Indie Review by Kat

Profile of a Killer (2012)

After months of being WAY behind on my own sub-genre work, my apologies go first and foremost to the production team behind Profile of a Killer who have been sending me gentle reminders about their film for literally MONTHS. It's time for this True Crime Honey to get her shit together.

The men said, “This is the day the Lord spoke of when he said to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.’” 1 Samuel 24

The premise: A retired FBI agent is pulled from his family to assist in one last case. The H-61 killer is on what appears to be the beginnings of a murderous spree in the Northern Mid-West. Hunter becomes the hunted in a deadly game where the tables are turned on the profiler who must use all of his skill and experience to survive.

What's "familiar":

The veteran - Profile spends quite a bit of time building up the FBI profiler, Saul (Gabriele Angiere). Showing the audience how important, revered and sought after he is, even in retirement. Now, why I say this is "familiar" is because it's a set up that happens with nearly every crime-based film/TV show. True Crime is (more often than not) a battle of wits - where killer and investigator go head to head without ever meeting.  Racing against the clock to rescue a victim, it's the expertise of the "specialist" that saves the day, sometimes by accident, sometimes by good old fashioned police work. *manly shoulder punch*

Saul - The Veteran (vaguely rocking a DeNiro look)
The cops - Rachel Cade (Emily Fradenburgh) is the tough talking, hard walking FBI Specialist assigned to the case. She's a woman in a man's world, and she dresses the part just like Deb in Dexter.
Mike Bianchi (Dustin Booth) is the local cop who is just a little angry that he has to answer to a woman, but not angry enough not to have sex with her. Le sigh. Just once I'd like to see a strong female cop who doesn't dress in oversized men's shirts and ill fitting pants. Just once, filmmakers, give me a goddamn Lana Kane-styled ass kicker.

The initial profile - the fall-back to "he's doing this for attention" profiling when all else fails. With a killer who has shown no real predisposition for being an attention seeker (unless I COMPLETELY missed it) until closer to the end of the film, this quick assessment is a cop-out for profiling in waaay too many films and TV shows.

What's different:

The killer - David. David is utterly unique. Cold, calculated and smart about his killing. His killing and body dump methods are interesting and smartly executed (with only a few itty bitty issues with articulation and forensics, but whatever). David is young, but we never learn how young.  David's youth is played upon in a big way. Sometimes well, and sometimes in ways that made my eye twitch a little. I loved his explanation of his childhood - how he answered a famous profiler's questions perfectly and in doing so actually negated his own profiling. How does one profile a killer who has no motive, no trauma, nothing to blame for their actions. True Crime hinges on that detail - how do you explain this? A history of violence, mental illness, abandonment. The general public NEEDS this closure. We need to be able to explain it away. Random acts of unexplainable violence shakes society to the core. Explanations make everything easier. Regardless of what they are.

David's methods of choosing his victims are entirely for Saul's benefit - to force Saul to profile him. This is something I actually REALLY loved, and loved how it was executed. So to speak.

Once again with the ugly crying...
True Crime Honey Verdict: Profile of a Killer is a long film.  It's slow to build and takes a LOT of time to very carefully build up it's characters to a point where the audience should care about them in a very specific way. For me, that actually didn't happen. I wanted to like David - but he was too aloof and disconnected to be a true sociopath like Hannibal Lecter (the movie felt very much like a youthful homage to Silence of the Lambs).

From a True Crime perspective, the writing behind David's character really tickled my forensics bone - in the good way. There are several things about this film that I could have lived without. David's character disintegration being first and foremost - Building David up as a strong, distant killer worked for me. His speedy and honestly messy breakdown didn't work for me, and left me wondering what was actually happening here. If David's murders were all an act, what the fuck was the point? The "love story" that wasn't a love story at all but more of a random "you're here and are a lower rank, I may as well fuck you to prove that I'm still female" situation; and the random Michelangelo's David reference... I'm not sure where that was going, because this was definitely not a David vs Goliath thang and the reference never appears again. Unless I TOTALLY missed that. Which I doubt.

Pictured: Where you lost me.
True Crime Honey Rating: 3.5 profiles out of 5 - While the True Crime aspects and majority of the dialogue really do it for me, Profile of a Killer loses steam due to a slow moving plot and the fact that I wasn't a fan of the way everything smash blended at the end.