I’m not going to lie, I am fascinated by serial killers. Serial killers are interesting. Not because they’re cool, but because they’re abnormal. The Clovehitch Killer is a scary serial killer movie based on real events.
I have watched loads of films and documentaries about them and will continue to do so. My favorite portrait of a killer is from Lynn Ramsey for her brilliant piece called We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011). While Kevin isn’t a serial killer perse, that movie chilled me to the bone. Ramsay’s intimate portrayal of both sides of the fence is what made me fall in love with that title.
The day I received The Clovehitch Killer as part of the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival Line-up was the day I watched it. I couldn’t wait. While this film isn’t as far-reaching as Ramsay’s film, its director Duncan Skiles has done a superb job in capturing the subtle details needed to fuel a story like this.
I Got An Interview With The Director
When I look to the bio’s for both Skiles and it’s writer Christopher Ford, the theme of this film sticks out like an odd-looking flower. Ford’s most recent screenplay was Spider-Man Homecoming (2017) ahead of Cop Car (2015). Skiles, on the other hand, has previously directed a comedy film called The Last Great Romantics and a mini-series about poker. Whatever inspired the two to get together and make this is something I would really like to know. For a close-up encounter with Duncan Skiles see the link below to my one-on-one interview.
Read the interview with the Director of The Clovehitch Killer: Interview is now published and available— see it here
The USA can watch this film on HULU
Quick Film Facts
Director: Duncan Skiles
Writer: Christopher Ford.
Release: Premiered at Los Angeles Film Festival on September 2018 and Brooklyn Horror Film Festival on October 2018. It’s public release will be on 16th November 2018.
Starring: Charlie Plummer (Boardwalk Empire), Dylan McDermott (American Horror Story), Samantha Mathis (American Psycho 2000), and Madison Beaty (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.)
Studio: IFC Midnight. I’ve added the trailer as an edit, now that’s it’s been released. Scroll to the end for that one.
Tyler is a boy scout in body and spirit. Every parent dream kid always trying to do the right thing. But his dad Don has a secret. It begins with the discovery of photographs stashed away in his man cave.
He and his new friend Kassi decide to look into his dad together and what they find will change their lives forever.
How Was the Clovehitch Killer?
I haven’t stopped thinking about this movie since I watched it. Having a story like this told through the eyes of a young teenager has given this sort of theme a point of difference that will make it stand out as an enjoyable watch for many. For those looking for a serial killer story full of intricate details about the murders and the act of killing itself, don’t get the wrong idea. This is a film that doesn’t dive right into that. Instead, it concentrates on the byline of the idea of;
“What would happen if you suspected your parent was a killer?”
Most people would be either turning them straight into the cops or simply running a mile. But what if by all accounts, your parent was a fairly amiable type of person, church-going, scout leader, provider and awkward but decent? This film dares to entertain that question and more. For me, I would have to be doubly-certain that it couldn’t be just explained away, and then I’d need to check again. This is where Tyler begins his journey of trying to figure everything out. Much to his detriment, his heart simply can’t believe what his eyes are seeing.
Is the Clovehistch Killer Based on Real Events?
It’s from this idea that The Clovehitch Killer takes a run at being the type of film that questions your morals. It’s director Duncan Skiles teases out the story of Don the serial killer like a sticker that won’t peel off. Don is loosely based on the real serial killer Dennis Radar, otherwise known as the BTK Killer. For more on who he is, scroll down past the rating.
People like me are champing at the bit for details on this mysterious killer, but The Clovehitch Killer essentially isn’t about that. You get enough detail to satiate any morbid fascination as I had. The portrayal of what lay beneath the complexities of his crime spree is dropped in a timely fashion. The character that emerges from inside Don the family man as his secrets are uncovered by an inquisitive child is a frenetic dance. But this is about Tyler, growing up in a small town with a sibling and a mom and beginning to work things out that simply can’t be right.
The Clovehitch Killer is a Great Film
I really enjoyed this. I could see this extending into a prequel (as I often do.) Some of the evidence that is quietly exposed is quite the tale. But for now, I am simply recommending this one as a great watch. If you like that type of thing, of course. There are definitely moments where the light seems dimmed by ill-conceived investigative techniques between Tyler and his flame-haired outsider Kassi. Overall, though it certainly shows a different way to look at a story such as this. I really enjoyed this one.
There is an upcoming interview with the film’s director coming. How cool is that? But for now, read on for more information on the story’s inspiration, the BTK Killer and just how much it had in common with the movie.
I give The Clovehitch Killer
4 everyone’s got their hobbies son out of 5
What Does BTK Stand For? Was He One Of Many Famous Serial Killers?
“Bind, Torture, Kill” was his motif and, he murdered 10 people between 1974 and 1991. I read a little about the man behind the backdrop to the narrative. There are a few similarities such as a striking resemblance in the way the filmmakers made up Don’s appearance.
The way Don’s persona is projected on screen compared to some photos I found of the real deal is eerily similar. Same glasses, same posture. Dylan McDermott has done a bang-up job of capturing what looks to be the same rigid enthusiasm throughout the film.
Do you know where else I think I might have heard mention of this guy? The hit show Mindhunter. I have more shows just like that too which you can find here. The series might not have named him yet but mark my words for season 2, you will be hearing about him. I very much remember a scene where some hands are shown tying knots. There is also a scene showing ‘someone’ mailing a letter at the start of one episode.
For those that are curious, he is still alive in prison in Kansas. If released he could be out in 2180, but given that he’s 73 odds are he will die there.