Cult Killer

January 19, 202450/1006 min
Starring
Shelley Hennig, Alice Eve, Olwen Fouéré, Antonio Banderas
Written by
Charles Burnley
Directed by
Jon Keeyes
Run Time
1h 45min
Release Date
January 19th, 2024
Overall Score
Rating Summary

I have always loved a good private detective movie, as there is nothing more fun than watching someone solve a crime. It is lucky for me, and all the other detective movie lovers out there, that we are in sort of a revival for such films, and I for one am here for it. With their popularity and the plain good stories that are coming out, these movies are attracting a great cast, which is just adding to the win for us, the audience. Now here comes Cult Killer, the new film from Joe Keeyes, and for you detective fans out there, this is one case you will be happy you took.

In some bar, we see a man walk in and sit and start a conversation with the barkeep. That man is Mikhail Tellini (Antonio Banderas), a private investigator, who seems to be interested in a couple that is behind him. After handling that business, a woman catches his attention as she seems she might be in trouble with three guys who she was sitting with. It turns out she didn’t need that much help, but Mikhail gave her some and recognizes that she is going through things. The woman’s name is Cassie Holt (Alice Eve), and she spends most of her time in a bottle, as she tries to deal with abuse that happened to her through most of her childhood. Mikhail, though, takes her under his wing and trains her in the skill of investigation and defense. Fast forward five years, and Mikhail is killed while on a job, and Cassie picks up where he left off. This case involves something much like she went through, but to solve this case, she must make an unholy alliance, one that she may not survive.

Written by Jon Keeyes, Cult Killer is not a movie that is going to hit you with any surprises as it plays out exactly how you think it will. There is nothing pleasant in this movie, as most of the characters are disturbing and take pleasure in other people’s pain. It is that and the overall story’s tone that reminds you of a book you might pick up at the airport that can be transformed into a B-movie. That is not to say the quality of this film falls in that territory, as there are plenty of elements that keep your attention and a cast that keeps it, mostly.

Cult Killer has its moments, which mostly involve Eve, who feels like she is playing a character that is above the material, but in doing so actually elevates that material. As for the rest of the cast, Banderas isn’t in the film long enough, but for the time he is there, he brings his usual charm and coolness. As for the last main character, Shelley Hennig does play crazy well, but it does at times feel a little over the top. Overall, it never feels like it is rushing, and while it could have used a tighter edit, and if you are a man of action, you get some here, but most of the things going on are conversational. I also appreciate the restraint of the story, as it could have gotten much darker. The thing that ultimately keeps Cult Killer from falling into the forgettable realm is the acting, which is all the reason you need to stick with this one.

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