The film opens with the driving sequence of the story, a sequence that will be referred to throughout the film and will be at the heart of the characters development.
Apart from the immediate opening moment, which coupled with the initial title and music choice makes you think this might be a slightly quirky film, the rest of the opening might make you think this film is going to be standard fare.
The slaughter of two girls at a campsite by an obviously slightly unhinged character is quite brutal and filmed in a matter of fact way. However something different is suggested by the way that the tension is built and then shattered prior to the killings.
As expected the film does change after this event and we're pulled to the lives of those involved with the killings, and those it touches in the town.
Some of these characters are slightly quirky, but not in a bizarre kind of way so that the audience can't identify with them, more that they are just a little off kilter, enough to give that slightly odd feeling, just not too much to destroy the believability and therefore the tension and terror of it all.
There are some strong visuals with a good filming style, not too much handheld, plenty of camera movement and it does retain a cinematic feel. There's one great scene that shows the strength of acting between two of the characters and the nice cinematic, tension building style.
That's when the detective talks to Ray Pye, played by Marc Senter, in the hotel and the camera is slowly and very deliberately zooming into each of them as the conversation keeps cutting back and forth. This scene is nicely shot, well scripted and acted, and effectively builds tension between them.
Although all the acting is good in this film it is the detective, played by Michael Bowen, and Senter, who come across as the best. Senter has a drive and bitter determination, but also supplies that on the edge feeling whenever he's on screen.
He gives a very strong performance as the guy slowly descending from bad to downright evil and then totally psychotic. He does give the impression of a hurt little boy at times, and even looks that way in some scenes, but in others he's a force to be avoided, and can be quite terrifying.
The ending returns to the opening style and produces some violent scenes. It's very tough and uncompromising with an ending shot that promises to haunt you on the way out the door.
"Read the book the titles say, whether you liked the film or not", well I did like it and I plan to do just that. The story is interesting, well presented and keeps its focus on the killer and his close friends, for these are the most interesting characters. So many films of this type are tempted by the chase and head off to follow that direction, this film shows what they are missing.
The film is slightly quirky but believable and at times frightening. The characters are great to see develop on screen and coupled with a good soundtrack, strong writing and directing, you should enjoy this film. As long as you enjoy being scared and unnerved along the way.