film reel image

film reel image

Friday, March 1, 2024

Lover, Stalker, Killer 2024 * * * 1/2 Stars


Giving you the feeling that it's just better to be catfished than having an actual person put you through the courting wringer, 2024's Lover, Stalker, Killer is a chilling documentary about failed relationships, the devotion to that lingers, some creep up on stature, and some would-be murder. "Never get involved with crazy" as they say. Clocking in at 90 minutes with a twist near the end and a malefactor dose of Middle America Americana, "Killer" sucks you in with its timeline diegesis that unfolds (and unfurls) like pure fiction (even though it's totally non-fiction). "A match made in heaven". Um, are you sure about that big guy? I mean are you really?

Distributed by Netflix and directed by a guy who's had at least 25 years in the biz (Sam Hobkinson), Lover, Stalker, Killer is about a real-life dude (Dave Kroupa) who while trying online dating, meets a woman who ends up scaring him for life (that would be the deranged Shanna Golyar). Yup, Golyar fits the title of "Killer" to a tee because she was Dave's lover, she did stalk him, and she was convicted of offing his short-term, other girlfriend. "You don't really know who they are". Uh, true dat.

So yeah, "Killer" is unlike any docu I've ever seen. Why? Because it's not filmed in the standard way and doesn't pretend to be. Helmer Hobkinson, well he'd rather use the actual people involved and not many actors, choosing to have the true story events play out as reenactments sans the camera just peeking in. It's all so diverting, perplexed, and fresh, like some drawn-out episode of Paranormal Witness, Dateline, and/or Forensic Files. The exception? Well Lover, Stalker, Killer has better production values, an eerier musical score, more inching tension, and more voyeuristic direction than the former. "Killer instinctive".

Written by Jesse Burleson

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