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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Bone Collector (1999)



Reviews and Comments

Serial killer flicks like these are like murder mysteries that got lost. The fun in a murder mystery is the intellectual game the detective and the murder play. There are riddles and puzzles and ruses that require innovative lateral thinking to penetrate.

But serial killer films, a genre borne out of a merger of murder mysteries and crime dramas (which often focus on the lives of the goodguys and how a particular crime impacts them), are rarely any good (obviously there are exceptions) because they get distracted with the shock and sensationalism of the crime itself. In murder mysteries and crime dramas, the crime is what starts the interesting things happen. It's not the whole point of it all.

The Bone Collector is just one more serial killer film that fails to understand this. It exploits its audience by shocking them with gruesome murders; the investigation itself is only a means by which to link gruesome murders together. The characters don't matter at all. All there is to see here is suffering, gore, and people wandering around in the dark and stumbling over corpses. This movie is not just bad, uninteresting, and artless; it's immoral as well.