Serial killer thriller Black Bird just drips with suspense

ONLY if you think true crime dramas featuring serial killers have run out of their welcome, skip the miniseries Black Bird (Apple TV+) by Dennis Lehane, which will make you glued to each six-hour episode.

f is the author of, among others, Mystic River, Shutter Island and Gone, Baby, Gone, all three turned out to be successful films, which somehow wasn’t enough to entice you to watch – and it really should – Black bird was brilliantly performed by a top cast, including Ray Liotta in his poignant final television appearance.

Lehane, who wrote or co-wrote all but one of the volumes, adapted the book Stay with the devil by James Keene, played by the Welsh actor and Rocket Man star Taron Egerton, further enhancing his reputation as an acting chameleon.

Keene, known as “Jimmy” to all, is the great American archetype: a high school football hero with a glittering future. But then, to the chagrin of his ex-cop father (Liotta, that’s amazing), Jimmy took a few wrong turns and became a drug dealer, albeit a hugely successful one with a lavish home, a luxurious red sports car and the endless supply looks of women just too willing to share her bed.

Jimmy is hard to hate. Even the cops who arrested him seem to like him, and it’s easy to see why. He’s cocky as hell, but also very charming and manipulative. He can speak his way from almost any private place and has a knack for getting people to open up.

The only thing he couldn’t say was his prison sentence after a raid on his home discovered large quantities of drugs, cash and guns. Jimmy gets a plea and is expected to get four years; instead, he was hit with a 10-point stretch.

A few months after serving his sentence, FBI agent Lauren McCauley (Sepideh Moafi, shifting gears from flirtatious to tough) smoothly offers Jimmy a lifeline: if he can make friends with an inmate in prison. prison in the Midwest and coax him to confess, his sentence will be reduced.

But his target is no ordinary prisoner, not the garden thieves and drug dealers from Jimmy’s prison. He’s Larry Hall (Paul Walker Hauser from Clint Eastwood’s Richard Jewell), a former grave digger and suspected serial killer, who the FBI believes murdered more than a dozen young women and then buried their bodies.

Prison is also far from normal; it’s a remote maximum security vehicle for the criminal madmen.

Hall has confessed to the murder of a 15-year-old girl, but a shrewd lawyer hired by his brother convinces the judge that it was rape.

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An appeal hearing that will almost certainly see him free to murder again is imminent, so Jimmy will have to work fast.

The only person inside the prison who knows why Jimmy is there is the governor. McCauley warned Jimmy that if he got into trouble and got his sentence increased, the deal would end and he would serve his sentence in his current position.

The intense game of cat and mouse between Jimmy and Hall will by itself be enough to support six hours of suspense. But Black bird also goes back a few months to show us real-life sheriff Brian Miller, detective Brian Miller (Greg Kinnear, doing his best job in years) trying to nail Hall for one of the murder, to the skepticism of the local police, who consider him a serial confessor and attention seeker.

The branching stories, which are such infuriating stories in today’s dramas, can often tire you out; not here, though. At the end of episode two, the two strands intersected into a completely compelling whole.

black bird, skillfully directed by Belgian filmmaker Michael R Roskam, who made the horror film The Drop, also written by Lehane, shows everyone getting into their game early, including Scottish band Mogwai, who contribute a matching unsettling score. Hopefully it will be an Emmy magnet next year.

But it’s no wonder that the standout here is Hauser, who owns every scene he’s in. He delivered an incredible performance as someone who seemed innocent, but also incredibly threatening.

Is he, as someone put it, just “a harmless freak” who only dreams about killing women, or is he a smart and charismatic monster? It’s easy to learn from the internet. But I want to learn the classic way, episode by episode.

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/television/tv-reviews/serial-killer-thriller-black-bird-just-drips-with-suspense-41830032.html Serial killer thriller Black Bird just drips with suspense

Fry Electronics Team

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