Watch Happy Face Killer
- 1 hr 26 min
Happy Face Killer is a 2014 American biographical crime movie, directed by Rick Bota and written by David Arquette. The film stars David Arquette, Gloria Reuben, and Daryl Shuttleworth in lead roles. The movie takes inspiration from the true story of Keith Hunter Jesperson, a notorious serial killer who was nicknamed the Happy Face Killer because he drew smiley faces on letters he sent to the press and the police. The film is a character study of Keith Jesperson and his life story, covering his childhood, his marriage, and his killing spree of eight women between 1990 and 1995, which spanned across several states in the USA.
David Arquette plays the role of Keith Jesperson, a soft-spoken and charming truck driver who is haunted by his abusive childhood and his failed marriage. Arquette portrays the character with nuance and depth, humanizing the killer and making him a complex figure instead of a one-dimensional villain. At the same time, Arquette does not shy away from portraying Jesperson's violent impulses and sociopathic tendencies, making his performance unsettling and disturbing.
Gloria Reuben plays the role of Melinda Gand, a journalist who becomes obsessed with Jesperson's case and tries to get inside his mind by interviewing him. Reuben gives a subtle and understated performance, conveying Melinda's curiosity, unease, and vulnerability as she gets closer to Jesperson. At the same time, Reuben's chemistry with Arquette is excellent, adding a layer of tension and danger to their scenes together.
Daryl Shuttleworth plays the role of Detective Brady, the lead investigator on Jesperson's case, who is determined to catch the killer and put him behind bars. Shuttleworth gives a solid and grounded performance, portraying Detective Brady as a seasoned and methodical cop who is not afraid to get his hands dirty to solve the case. At the same time, Shuttleworth shows some vulnerabilities and doubts in Brady's character, making him more than just a typical hard-nosed detective.
The movie's direction by Rick Bota is effective and restrained, allowing the actors and the story to take center stage. Bota's use of lighting and camera angles adds to the film's eerie and unsettling atmosphere, capturing the dark and disturbing nature of Jesperson's crimes. The film's pacing is slow but deliberate, allowing the audience to fully immerse themselves in the characters' psyche and the story's themes.
Overall, Happy Face Killer is a well-crafted and harrowing movie that explores the mind of a serial killer and the aftermath of his crimes. The film's strong performances, direction, and script elevate it beyond a typical true crime story, making it a compelling and thought-provoking watch. Fans of crime dramas and character studies will find plenty to enjoy in this movie.
Happy Face Killer is a 2014 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 26 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.3.