Thursday, April 13, 2006

In Cold Blood

Dir: Richard Brooks (Looking for Mr. Goodbar)

Had the opportunity to watch this movie and while I have not yet seen Capote, I did recently read In Cold Blood. I was looking forward to seeing this movie in light of the extreme fascination I had with the novel. What is it about a story whose ending we know that still compels us to watch? And I do not mean Titanic, but rather the way in which the psychological explanation present in this movie has become relatively commonplace in the years since the book was written and the movie was made.
What drew me to the book was that the story was so emotionally gripping and fascinating, and I think the movie mostly attempts to transpose the book onto the screen. With subject matter like this, where the source material is so rich and well done, this seems the best strategy. The movie is seriously frightening, creepy despite that we know whats coming. The horror we feel as the killers creep into the Clutter household with rope to tie their victims is palpable. Like the novel it is also effective at generating sympathy for the killers althought the flashback techniques are one of the more dated technical elements of the film.
An interesting note: Capote is represented in this film as a "liberal journalist" who talks to the prisoners in their cells. Interesting for someone who has seen both to speak on the differences involved. But a fine film. I have never been scared so much during a movie since i saw The Exorcist.