In Byers' case the evidence revealed that he had been castrated, and his genitals skinned before he was killed. The monumental task for Egoyan and his screenwriters Paul Harris Boardman and Scott Derrickson, is to create the same kind of creepy effectiveness that we got from the documentary. Why else would the bloody Bojangles man and vague suspect Christopher Morgan feature in key scenes? Weeks after the murders, a local woman, Vicki Hutcheson, brought her eight-year-old son Aaron to see the police. Here is a fictionalized recreation of the brutal 1993 murders of three elementary school boys from West Memphis Arkansas that has already been documented in Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's brilliant 1996 documentary Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills and its three subsequent follow-ups. Based on this confession and the story told to police by Aaron Hutcheson, Misskelley, Echols, and Baldwin were all arrested and charged with three counts of. Unfortunately DeHaan is on screen for less than a total of 10 minutes. She's played by Reese Witherspoon in a performance that feels somehow muted and unfocused, as if the real meat of her performance was left on the cutting room floor.
Your heart will certainly get caught up in the film and it will have a strong impact on viewers. Pamela Hobbs moves out of the home shared with her husband Terry. Through her character we experience the desperate need for justice and closure one yearns for when losing a child in such a way. A film based on the book, , was released in 2013. Meanwhile, Pam Hobbs, Stevie's mother, begins to suspect that her husband and Stevie's stepfather Terry killed the boy, especially after finding Stevie's prized Swiss Army knife in Terry's toolkit. Later this year, there is yet another movie on this subject, due to be released in November 2014. Studio: Image Entertainment Director: Atom Egoyan Writer: Paul Harris Boardman, Scott Derrickson, Mara Leveritt Producer: Paul Harris Boardman, Elizabeth Fowler, Clark Peterson, Richard Saperstein Stars: Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon, Mireille Enos, Elias Koteas, Stephen Moyer, Amy Ryan, Bruce Greenwood, James Hamrick, Dane DeHaan, Kevin Durand, Alessandro Nivola Review Score: West Memphis, Arkansas — May 5, 1993 — Pamela Hobbs watches as her son Stevie Branch sets off after school to ride bikes with his friend Michael Moore.
Making a film about true events always draws extra attention to the matter of authenticity, accuracy and sincerity. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Hobbs in one-by-one fashion is needlessly sappy. After an extensive search, their bound and beaten bodies are found the next day. All three teenagers convicted were released on August 19, 2011. But, because the community was looking for convictions and because there was a strong cultural belief in the existence of satanic murder cults, folks seemed more than willing to see these three teens convicted and so they were. The cast is well put together and the acting is on par for the most part.
The film makers simply missed the mark on this and did a very poor job of turning this murder case into a story line for a film. His character is introduced but not very well developed — perhaps due to the limits set by the true story. To this day, the West Memphis Police have yet to investigate Byers any further. In doing so, many of the major players remain off-screen. The same goes for the families. Devil's Knot 2013 Devil's Knot : Based on the true story of the West Memphis Three where three young boys were savagely murdered in West Memphis, Arkansas in 1993. Somehow her Southern accent sounds completely fake.
However, within the four sections the Festival presents, there is also room for retrospectives and themed programmes. News of the boys' deaths and the manner in which it happened soon reached the inhabitants of the small community. I also thought there were a few spots in the movie that were a little choppy, which had a minor effect on the way the film plays out. Fine, but what purpose does it serve to motivate this notion after the movie has already concluded? They recreate the events without the intricate details so their film comes off feeling like a barely passable reenactment. Unfortunately the problem with this film is the frustrating lack of resolution, something painfully true of the real case it recreates. The only bright spot in this film is the appearance of the up and coming actor Dane DeHaan, who is usually the best thing about any production he appears in. With their lives hanging in the balance, investigator Ron Lax is trying to find the truth between the town's need for justice and the guil.
Where haunted me, seemed quite forgettable. And that comes with the consequence of more important personalities being rushed into caricature as a result. In terms of the case details, they had some very odd choices in what to include and what to leave out, and they dramatized certain things but down played others. What is strange is that Egoyan and his screenwriters would focus on the relatively banal figure of Hobbs from a fictional standpoint anyway when the most curious mainstay of the case has always been John Mark Byers, the stepfather of Christopher Byers, one of the murder victims. Accusations of witchcraft, Satanism, and human sacrifice lead the police to teenage suspects Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jesse Misskelley, who confesses to the crimes after a 12-hour interrogation. Hopefully that film will handle the material better than this lackluster effort. If you've seen those films then you already know all the players.
It felt like the actors didn't put any feeling into their roles, perhaps because even they realized that the script was so uninspiring. In stepping outside his usual landscape, he finds himself wading knee-deep in the waters of our expectations. Little Rock, Arkansas: Arkansas Times Limited Partnership. The film was released in Canadian theaters both English and French on January 24, 2014. Whether it is fictionalizing a love interest to add a romantic subplot or inventing a conflict to pep up the action, desire for commercial appeal can necessitate fudging some facts. There were six families devastated by this crime, but the film focuses almost exclusively on Pamela Hobbs the single mother of one of the victims. Atom Egoyan's Devil's Knot is a wholly unnecessary exercise.
For dramatic reasons, the film chose to focus on one particular mother probably because she was played by Reese Witherspoon and completely ignored the other two grieving families--a very, very odd omission to say the least and something that seems a bit offensive. Produced by Elizabeth Fowler, Richard Saperstein, , , and , the film stars , , , , , , , , , and. May 6, 1993 — Vicki Hutcheson presents her son Aaron as a witness. Misskelley was 17 and considered mildly. The next day, their bodies were found in the woods near their homes with evidence showing they had been brutally beaten and savagely murdered. Why You Might Not Like It: I will say that the content is disturbing and there are parts of the movie that are really hard to watch. Questions of lawyer malpractice, police misconduct, and falsified witness testimony are also raised.
It is hard to imagine that a movie dealing with such a fascinating subject matter, could actually be boring; but Egoyan and his cast manage to deliver a completely lackluster product. With their lives hanging in the balance, investigator Ron Lax is trying to find the truth between the town's need for justice and the guilt of the accused. There are a couple of the roles in the movie that seem to be a little overacted and stereotyped, but that is just my opinion. The three accused teenagers, Jesse Misskelley, Damian Echols and Jason Baldwin remain shadows here. This article needs additional citations for. Private investigator Ron Lax offers his services pro bono to the defense team.
We see them fleetingly, mostly in the backgrounds. Ron Lax visiting the crime scene alone at night to ponder pensively in suit and tie establishes nothing other than solitary meditation. And that does validate the question of why there should be any need to dramatize a true story that has enough inherent intrigue to power four separate documentaries. If you are looking for a thorough examination of the killings, the folks involved and subsequent trial, this film may leave you a bit cold, unfortunately. Filled with dull court scenes, and a preachy vibe throughout, as though the film was made specifically to prove that the 3 boys were innocent of the charges. Even from the standpoint of filmmaking, Devil's Knot never really breathes with life. Even Reese Witherspoon, who usually turns in good performances, is just awful in this.