Director: Mark Vadik (2010)
Starring: Brian Krause, Danielle Harris, Lance Henriksen
Find it online: IMDB
LOL JK. You Hannah Montana fans will have to look elsewhere for your tween kicks. This is actually a review of something considerably less horrifying - the serial killer thriller Cyrus. This one stars Lance Henriksen and has his gruff, mysterious character as interviewee in a documentary about titular serial killer Cyrus (not to be confused with enjoyable serial killer Cyrus of Con Air or anything Billy Ray either). His narration bookends the movie and is intercut with vivid murder scenes in which the killer does his stuff.
If only Cyrus was played by an actor with as much chops as Henriksen. Brian Krause does fine, but his serial killer shtick comes across as a bit stereotyped and without nuance. He's pretty much your standard quiet, creepy murderer ala Steve Railsback's Ed Gein or Kane Hodder's BTK. Do we really need another dungarees-wearing My Name Is Earl trailer-trash serial killer? He remains mostly quiet throughout, but when he does get to speak, ol' Cyrus comes across as a bit whiny. Always rattling on about his achey breaky heart.
But Henriksen's narration and faux talking heads keep things snappy enough. It also helps that Cyrus is a lot quieter than your average STD serial killer. The few lines he has don't exactly seep menace. In fact, much of the movie's menace and tension comes from Henriksen's gravelly Texan narratings. Lance makes a lot of crap nowadays, but his work in Cyrus is solid. He's too old, but I'd much rather have seen him play Cyrus hisself.
After he murders his wife, Cyrus murders a car full of cut-n-paste youths and kidnaps the cutest amongst their number. He takes her home and makes her breastfeed his imaginary dead baby. Yes, you read that right. Most disturbing breastfeeding scene since The Hills Have Eyes remake. Sadly it's accompanied by a whole lot of whining and daft behaviour from Cyrus. Serial killers, when will you learn that bleating about your mommy & daddy issues is just unattractive.
But for all its issues, Cyrus is watchable enough. The story is more compelling than one might expect, and there's enough going on to prevent boredom from setting in. Course, it has Lance Henriksen to paper over the cracks. And if you squint your eyes/turn off your ears, you can pretend that you're watching Sam Worthington on screen. A much more annoying, simpering Sam Worthington. And it has the most unintentionally hilarious car crash this side of a Final Destination. The ending though, is entirely unpredictable. In fact, even with no more facts at your disposal than provided by this review, you can probably guess the 'twist' straight off've the bat.
The Mind of a Serial Killer, as posited by this movie's subtitle, is a bit of a dump. Lesson learned: under Lance Henriksen's gravelly monotone, even an utter bitch moron like Silly Ray Cyrus can pass off as cool. If only we could all have the luxury of The Henriksen narrating our most dipshit mind processes.