ABC Film Challenge – Horror – C – Cyrus: Mind of a Serial Killer (2010)

Director: Mark Vadik

Writer: Mark Vadik (Screenplay)

Starring: Brian Krause, Lance Henriksen, Danielle Harris, Tiffany Shepis, Doug Jones, Kim Rhodes, Shawna Waldron, Patricia Belcher


Plot: An independent TV reporter and her cameraman interview a man in regards to a serial killer the man knew by the name of Cyrus. The man traces back through the story of the serial killer and why he became the monster he is.


Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Unique Way to Tell a Serial Killer Story


Story: Cyrus: Mind of a Serial Killer starts when a reporter Maria (Harris) is looking to uncover the mysterious series of disappearances of college students reaching the 100’s, she gets a report that local Emmett (Henriksen) knows the killer and just how many he has committed through the years.

Maria looks to secure an interview with Emmett who tells him about Cyrus (Krause) claiming he is the serial killer and just what was his motivation for becoming the deadliest killer in American history.


Thoughts on Cyrus: Mind of a Serial Killer


Characters – Cyrus is the war veteran that started killing people after his wife cheated on him, which led him to kill her, her lover and their child, he continued to punish people he believes have done wrong, using his own unique well of getting rid of the bodies, we learn his stories from Emmett, who claims to know him personally, Emmett doesn’t want the town’s name put in the story, though he is willing to tell for the crimes he did commit. Maria is the reporter that is trying to get the story, she is willing to push the boundaries of what she can get out of Emmett, even if she is willing to break the promises. We do get to see plenty of victims of Cyrus, most get tortured before they get killed, this brings lots of screaming.

PerformancesBrian Krause as the oldest version of Cyrus that shows us just how deadly the he has made this character, that would be somebody you could fear. Lance Henriksen is the narrator for the most part, his voice keeps the story flowing while his live scenes show us how a local wouldn’t want the story to come out. Danielle Harris brings us a reporter figure that shows us just how far they would go for a story.

StoryThe story here follows a reporter trying to learn about a serial killer from a local that claims to be a friend of the killer, knowing the truth behind his kills and just the number of kills he has committed. The way this story is told is very good because it is told like a story being set up for a newspaper article exposing a serial killer, we get the details of the kills, the motivation behind them all and the reason they stopped. This all adds up nicely because the film is sold on it being based on a true story. while you could easily pick apart the timeline in the film and with the pure number of kills that we are meant to have occurred, something just doesn’t click only following the select few. This does story does end up following capture, torture, go to the next level without being anything we haven’t seen before, leaving it only being praised for the style of storytelling.

Crime/HorrorThe crime side of the film follows the story of the serial killer which does show us the horror of his crimes through the years, we get plenty of horrific wounds and kills through the film too, with plenty of blood.

SettingsThe film does keep everything inside the small town, showing how a killer could be operating under your nose without you noticing anything going on around you, the house itself is away from the rest of the town, meaning the killer can get away with screaming going on around him.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to show the brutal nature of the killings and just how they are made to look that way with the makeup effects.

Scene of the Movie –
The set-up for the interview, it felt like a fresh spin on the serial killer side of horror.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Once we get into the routine, the kills can be repetitive.

Final ThoughtsThis is a strong idea for the style of creating a serial killer film, even if it does just end up uses the unique style to be a generic serial killer film.


Overall: Interview about a serial killer.



Jeepers Creepers (2001)

logoDirector: Victor Salva

Writer: Victor Salva (Screenplay)

Starring: Gina Philips, Justin Long, Jonathan Breck, Patricia Belcher, Brandon Smith, Eileen Brennan


Plot: On their way back home during the spring break, Darry and Patricia Jenner witness a mysterious person dumping something down a tunnel. Deciding to discover what was dumped down there, Darry discovers a huge disturbing hideout full of modified bodies. Darry and Patricia set off to get help, unaware that the individual is now aware of who has been down the tunnel. Darry and Patricia soon realizes that their pursuer is not just a mysterious person, but something even more horrifying, who has more in store than they could possibly imagine.


Verdict: Creature Feature Horror Thriller


Story: Two people this time siblings travelling along a place they don’t know creating isolation. We also get the state the obvious about not doing something and still doing it anyway. A mysterious figure introduced early adding shock value which usually gets kept for a later reveal. Even though we get to see the basic figure we don’t learn about the true motives until later in the film. Mixing this all up we get a solid horror thriller that keeps you on the edge of the seat throughout. It does push all the action around and also has moments of humour especially when the cops meet the creature. It also has brutal scenes, suspense scenes and post torture horror. I am not going to say this is the most original story but it did bring something the creature feature into the new generation using older horror techniques. (7/10)


Actor Review


Gina Philips: Trish the sister on the journey whose car the siblings are using, she plays the state the obvious character who just wants to get in the car and get out of the creatures way, but ends up following her brother. Good performance with genuine look of fear throughout. (7/10)


Justin Long: Darry the brother on the trip who curiosity gets them in trouble after they see the creature dumping bodies, he is more reckless than his sister. Good performance but in a character that has no right to make decisions he makes. (7/10)


Jonathan Breck: The Creeper the mysterious creature who travels around in a supped truck that is designed to put fear on the fellow drivers so he can select the ones he needs. (8/10)


Director Review: Victor Salva – Good creation bring a new horror creature into the mix using older horror techniques. (7/10)


Horror: Using gothic horror in the modern era we get fresh look at horror when over the top violence was taking over. (8/10)

Thriller: Good thriller that really keeps you in the edge as the creature could turn up anywhere any when. (8/10)

Settings: The isolation created even though they are in an open environment shows how lost the siblings are. (7/10)
Special Effects
: Good special effects used for some of the kills. (8/10)

Suggestion: This is for all horror fans they will appreciate the different look at horror for the modern world. (Horror Fans Watch)


Best Part: The creature being run over scene.

Worst Part: IT won’t be everyone’s taste in horror.

Kill Of The Film: The cops in the car.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has one sequel

Post Credits Scene: There is one.


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $59 Million

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Tagline: This fall things are getting creepy.


Overall: Good Modern Gothic Horror

Rating 75


500 Days of Summer (2009)

Directed by Marc Webb
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Geoffrey Arend, Chloe Moretz, Matthew Gray-Gubler, Clark Gregg, Patricia Belcher, Rachel Boston 

This is not a love story. This is a story about love. The tag line sums of this movie perfectly. It’s a story of a boy Tom who meets a girl at work called Summer, He thinks she is ‘The One’ and after a little bit of a fling. Until Summer decides she doesn’t want anything serious, Tom goes on the roller coaster of emotions and we get to see how he gets though the 500 days of Summer. Tom gets help from his two best friends McKenzie, Paul and even his little sister Rachel who is surprisingly more adult than her age would show.

The Story is something a lot of people can relate to as it’s a dead-end job that Tom just filled even tho he dreamed of being something better. Can this doomed relationship give him the confidence to take the next step in his career? With some great chemistry between Tom and Summer that sparkles at the start but fizzles out as the relationship grew. Having great locations from an Ikea store to a hill-side park in the middle of the busy city. The music through out the movie are great classics from The Smiths, Morrissey and Beatles conversation keep the music lovers interested in the storyline.

Overall Movie Rating 93% it’s a rom-com that everyone will enjoy as it is a position everyone would have been in some when during their love life. Action junkies will not be interested that much but overall a very good romantic comedy that all will enjoy