Monday, 25 November 2013

Review: Profile of a Killer (2012)

British writer/director Caspien Tredwell Owen’s first feature, Profile of a Killer (2012), stars Gabriele Angieri, Emily Fradenburgh and Inbetweeners US star Joey Pollari. Angieri stars as retired FBI agent Saul Aitken who returns for one final case but finds himself the captor of the very killer he’s assigned to track down.

David (Pollari) is a ruthless teenage serial killer whose aim is to outsmart those attempting to track him down. Intelligent and unpredictable, David challenges his latest victim to a battle of wits yet Aitken must rely on his years of experience as a profiler to ensure his personal safety and stop him from killing again. Special Agent, Rachel Kade (Fradenburgh) is on the case and hot on the killer’s trail but the hostage situation complicates matters as it turns into a deadly game of cat and mouse.

 Filmed with an atmospheric chill amidst isolated and desolate landscapes, Profile of a Killer is a cold film in both theme and its white ice aesthetic. Beginning with children playing in the snow, one happens to come along a decomposed skull poking out of the ground. The child is scarred for life, much like the teenage killer at the centre of this unusual film. Profile of a Killer contains some great performances, most notably by Angieri and Pollari who have great chemistry together as victim and captor but where the film really gets interesting is in the shift of dynamic between the pair as the Agent develops a strange paternal bond towards his captor.

 Hot on their heels is Rachel Kade, played with outright stoicism by Fradenbergh in a role not too dissimilar to The Killing’s Sarah Lund or The Bridge’s Saga Noren. However her character is haphazardly fleshed out with throwaway mentions of a bereavement that do little to enable her character to fully flourish. The film flows smoothly and only halts during scenes of lengthy dialogue between the two protagonists or jolts during the jarring and occasionally mismatched incidental score.

This is unusually ambitious low budget fare based on an intriguing and unique concept. However, the limits of the feature film format unfortunately quashes what has the potential to be an amazing television series. Director, Tredwell Owen proves he’s one to watch, even more so if he shifts his focus to Scandinavia. If Nordic Noir has a pilot season, Profile of a Killer would make a great submission. 3/5

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