Dark Thrill reviews: To Catch a Killer/Missing Clarice Sterling

 I enjoyed watching To Catch a Thriller this week, but it got me thinking about another incredible film - Silence of the Lambs. It's strange how one movie can make you miss another. As I was watching To Catch a Killer, I couldn't help but wonder why there aren't more movies or shows featuring brave and brilliant female FBI agents who have a unique ability to understand criminals.

In the movie, Shailene Woodley portrays Eleanor Falco, a former Baltimore beat cop who has been demoted. The opening scene of To Catch a Killer reminded me so much of the iconic first scene in Silence of the Lambs, where Jodie Foster's character trains at the academy and enters the elevator surrounded by these imposing men. How Edie is introduced aims to evoke the same sense of determination and strength.

The plot revolves around a sniper who has terrorized Baltimore on New Year's Eve, and when the police locate his shooting location - a high-rise apartment that explodes - Edie, played by Woodley, takes charge of the situation. She fearlessly instructs a cop filming the chaos, then embarks on a daring journey up to the crime scene without a gas mask amidst a testosterone-fueled battle. This contrast sets the stage for Edie's character and echoes the characterization of Clarice in Silence of the Lambs.

But before diving into Edie Falco's twisted world, let's address a minor speed bump. Sure, at first, the narration gets a little convoluted, the story zooms by like a cheetah on caffeine, and Edie's razor-sharp intelligence gets morphed into semi-philosophical ramblings about the enigmatic killer. But fear not, there are remeeding qualities, like the  FBI investigator extraordinaire Geoffrey Lammark, played by the incomparable Ben Mendelsohn. He takes Edie under his wing like a quirky mentor guiding a rookie superhero. Ah, sweet collaboration!

Of course, just like in "The Silence of the Lambs," our heroes face classic power struggles and political shenanigans that obstruct the search for the killer. Because hey, what's a thrilling crime investigation without a few bureaucratic hurdles? And here's where things take a turn: Edie and the deranged killer come face to face - cue the dramatic music! Edie is forced to endure the criminal's nonsensical babbling, testing her empathy skills to the max. 

To Catch a Killer lacks the sophisticated elegance Jonathan Demme infused into "The Silence of the Lambs." It's a bit dirtier and a bit less refined, but it does make up for it in pure entertainment value. A rollercoaster ride through a wild, gritty landscape, where momentum is everything, and lingering on important details is sooo last season. We miss delving into Edie's motivations, but who needs motives when you've got psychopathic tendencies in the mix? 

And let's not forget our friendly neighborhood killer, who might not have the same charm as Hannibal Lecter, but not everyone can be that easy on the eyes! To Catch a Killer still rustles up enough thrills and chills in its tight, pulse-pounding style. It may be a hasty job, but it is a thrilling one.

Here's the real treat: Jodie Foster will get the chance to bring back that complicated female investigator vibe to the screen. "True Detective" season 4 will swoop in to fill that void on January 14th.