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Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

David Fincher’s ‘The Killer’ dulls down director’s usually thrilling genre

Gateway Film Center
The featured poster was designed by Neil Kellerhouse and illustrated by James Patterson.

On Nov. 10, world-renowned director David Fincher’s new film “The Killer” was released on Netflix, marking his return to what he makes best: thrillers with a dark undertone.

The film starts off introducing us to a successful assassin who is waiting several days to fire at his target. When he does, his mission doesn’t go as planned. As he lingers in anticipation for his victim, and later deals with the consequences of his failure, the unnamed assassin’s methodology and life unravel after a rare but deadly mistake.

With insightful narration and impressive performances, “The Killer” does a good job in keeping the viewer intrigued by the assassin’s life. The film is understated in nature and tends to feel monotoned. The subtle tension helps to contribute to the stone-cold portrayal actions of the killer, who does whatever it takes to complete his goal.

Though this adds to the film, some may find the film to be boring in result. Fincher tends to take a calmer approach to this film than his other thrillers that tend to boast intense action sequences and overwhelming tension or excitement.

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With little conversation and a character whose life is not heavily explored, some may not find it up to par with the rest of his Oscar-winning filmography. Though the audience can infer that the writer intended the unnamed assassin to be mysterious, it can be challenging for people to be invested in his journey if we are not given much of a person to connect with.

Since the movie characterizes the killer as a man who doesn’t feel empathy, it’s hard for the audience to feel empathy for him in return. The lack of exploration of characters in general, especially for the inattentive viewer, can confuse the audience regarding their characters’ relationships with each other or their motives. It can be argued that this is Fincher’s most simple thriller, as it lacks the “keep you guessing” aspect that many of his thrillers contain.

However, “The Killer” has phenomenal imagery. The film’s dim, cool-toned lighting helps add to the stern atmosphere that the director is known for. His directing style and cinematography help create a beautiful, captivating portrayal that makes up for the duller aspects of the thriller.

The movie’s cast list has stellar performers featuring Academy Award-nominee Michael Fassbender and Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton. The cast list also features lesser-known actors such as Sophie Charlotte, Charles Parnell and Kerry O’Malley. With most characters having relatively small screen time in proportion to the two-hour runtime, all the actors delivered serious, captivating and memorable performances.

“The Killer” is a well-made, profound and perplexing film with great performances, cinematography, directing and lighting. Though it is an enjoyable watch and a potentially exciting thriller, the lack of exposition and its understated nature may not be enough “thrill” to encapsulate the genre as much as Fincher’s other films have done in the past.

“The Killer” is available to watch on Netflix.

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