26th Feb2014

‘Profile of a Killer’ Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Gabriele Angieri, Joey Pollari, Emily Fradenburgh, John Kunik, Dustin Booth, Ken Melchior, Chandra Michaels, Sophia Elise Brister, Matt Casey, Chris Carlson, Kirsten Gregerson, Robert Larsen, Alan Johnson | Written and Directed by Caspian Tredwell-Owen

profile-of-a-killer

There’s something about independent movies that I always like.  They have a refreshing feel and they often don’t stick to the rules.  Many times they have to produce a movie on a small budget and make sacrifices that are often shown on-screen.  Many times that little spark of magic you are looking for, where a film catches your attention and provides you with something special, that is what I found with Profile of a Killer.

As the most effective movies often do, Profile of a Killer focuses on two people, a retired FBI Profiler Saul Aitken (Gabriele Angieri) and a teenage boy David (Joey Pollari) trying to create his legacy in the form of a killer.  When Aitken is brought in to profile the “H-61 Killer” that he would later find out is David, he is kidnapped by the killer and forced to profile him to show just how good he is at his job.  If he gets the facts wrong, another person must die.  In a twisted game in the style of a David Goliath battle, Aitken faces a battle of wits with David to stay alive while FBI Special Agent Rachel Cade (Emily Fradenburgh) tries to track them down.

The idea of the David and Goliath battle is brought into the film early on and it’s interesting that we are pushed into the belief that Aitken is the “Goliath” and David is the one who must win the battle.  The fact is though if anything the roles of each are constantly interchanged as the battle to understand David and who he is rages on.  Joey Pollari plays David as the arrogant and egotistical petulant boy who has a belief that he is smarter than everybody else, especially Aitken who is seen the best profiler in the business.  As the audience we’ve seen many films and television series where the profiler wins out so we expect this boy to be broken by the end of the film, it’s something predictable but something that very often happens in thrillers such as this.

The strength in Profile of a Killer is the relationship between David and Aitken, both Gabriele Angieri and Joey Pollari play their characters well and really pull you into the relationship.  Pollari especially is good at showing the sensitive side of a boy who believes that he is indestructible and superior to everybody else, while in truth he just wants to be noticed and actually be somebody.  His attempt to have the immortality of being known as a killer is admirably in its naïvety and the character is created in a way that is believable, especially David’s obsessive use of the internet as his source of information and tool to publicise himself.  If anything he makes himself memorable to the audience of the film, even though he is a fictional character.

I will admit for a film I’ve never heard about I was very pleasantly surprised with Profile of a Killer.  With a nice amount of gore to interest horror fans and a believable human focus on the characters this is a case of film making where good intentions have paid off.  Yes, there is an element of predictability in the plot but by the end of the film it’s more a case of the audience wanting to take the well-trodden path, instead of ending with a forced twist just to try to be more intellectual.  In being focused on the plot and character development Profile of a Killer is a hidden independent gem well worth tracking down.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek.com
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