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Nightstalker (2002)

  Directed by: Chris Fisher
Written by: Chris Fisher
Starring: Bret Roberts, Roselyn Sanchez, Danny Trejo
Links: Nightstalker on the IMDb, Buy on DVD
Genre: Based on True Story

This movie gets: 3.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Wake me up when the movie's over" - a review by andy-j

The year is 1985, and a Los Angeles serial killer dubbed the Nightstalker (Bret Roberts) is terrorising the community, raping and then murdering his female victims, and often killing their husbands at the same time. The young and attractive Hispanic Officer Gabriella Martinez (Roselyn Sanchez) and her partner Frank Luis (Danny Trejo) answer a routine callout where they discover the first victims and make a mess of the crime scene. Despite this, Martinez gets offered a job as a detective, which is, unbeknownst to her, a PR move on the part of the LAPD, since the victims are all Hispanic females. But her investigations lead her into dangerous territory and under the direct gaze of the Nightstalker Himself!

Notice how I've hardly mentioned the serial killer? That's because this movie hardly mentions the serial killer. We barely get to see his face - let alone get inside his head to see what's going on in there. What we do find out is somewhat interesting - the Nightstalker appears to be under the control of a demon (represented by a white man whispering in his ear), he does a lot of drugs, he likes his victims to swear allegiance to Satan, and he hates being looked at. It's all rather intriguing, but the film just doesn't do much with all of this. It seems that writer, Chris Fisher, was just trying fit these known facts into the story without any real understanding of what they meant… "The crime report says he doesn't like being looked at… so I'll just make him say 'Don't look at me!' a lot without explaining it!". We unfortunately are left with a very vague picture of the Nightstalker.

Additionally, the scenes featuring the Nightstalker are just plain stupid. We get a ton of brief flashes of a murder, for example, accompanied by weird high-pitched screeching noises. This approach might be seen as stylistic and creative by some, and, in some ways, I can appreciate it. But I also found it distracting, confusing and annoying as hell. Instead of seeing what we want to see, we just get blurred close-ups and flashes that are over before you even realise what was going on. Additionally, the police chase scenes are as generic as they come, and as for the final showdown.. snore! Boring boring boring.

Nightstalker is totally underwhelming, being more about the cops than the serial killers, and not even doing a good job with the cops part of the story. The character of Martinez, who is concentrated on for much of the film, still seems underdeveloped and distant by the film's end. Oh, and to the filmmakers I have this piece of advice: when making a movie about a Hispanic serial killer, it might be an idea to hire a Hispanic actor.

andy-j gives this movie 3 out of 10.
Review created on Tue 20 Jan 2004

Movie review statistics

Number of reviews: 1
 
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Reader comments

  1. it was worth a look

    Rating given: 8

    A comment from creation of darkness on Fri 16 Jul 2004 05:47 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 8.00 (1 rating)

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