Director: Duncan Skiles
Writer: Christopher Ford
Staring: Dylan McDermott, Charlie Plummer, Madisen Beaty
Streaming: Netflix
Release Date: November 16, 2018

“A picture-perfect family is shattered when the work of a serial killer hits too close to home.”

The Clovehitch Killer is a 2018 independent crime drama that tells the story of how a small town serial killer can lead to upheaval in a small town and amongst a perfect family. The serial killer, known as the The Clovehitch Killer, is played by Dylan McDermott and his dual life begins to be questioned by his sone Tyler (Charlie Plummer) and his friend Kassi (Madisen Beaty).

There is a duality working in The Clovehitch Killer; a man whose star is fading but is trying to regain his own sense of self versus a young man trying to learn who he is and how he wants to define himself. Tyler is going through every high school boy’s angst of trying to figure out who he is while his dad, Don (Dylan McDermott) is putting himself back out there to try and remember what it was like when he was at his peak.

There is a wonderful touch of storytelling at the start of the third act. When Kassi brings Tyler to the house of a Clovehitch Killer victim, Tyler sees the markings on the wall that a parent would put to symbolize their child’s growth. Earlier in the movie, Tyler’s sister Susie (Brenna Sherman) was measured by her mom (Samantha Mathis).

The final 40 minutes of The Clovehitch Killer are rapturing. It switches point of views and timelines, beginning with holy shit a plot twist with 37 minutes left. The son walking in on his dad in the middle of his first kill attempt in ten years is a wonderful original veer. Then there is the follow-up nice add-on that illuminates the audience to the fact that Kassi’s mom was killed by Clovehitch. Also, cue the therapist because Kassi was there when her mom was killed.

In the final moments of The Clovehitch Killer, Tyler is still taking lessons from his dad even when he turns out to be a murderer. Earlier in the movie Don had told his son that his uncle Ron was the killer and they never told anyone out of protecting the family. Tyler takes that idea to heart and in his final decisive choice of the story, he takes that lie his father told him and turns it upon him in a nice, sad, final dagger.

The Clovehitch Killer flows well and is constructed crisply. No big budget or buckets of gore and it’s the small-town charm and independent vibe of the movie that elevates it past other standard rigg-oh-mo-roll.

STANKO RATING: B (4.0/5 Stars)

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