The Craigslist Killer

08/29/2015 21:47

Film: The Craigslist Killer

Year: 2011

Director: Stephen Kay

Writer: Donald Martin and Stephen Tolkin

Starring: Jake McDorman, Agnes Bruckner and Joshua Close



This film’s opening credits show them as they would be on the website, Craigslist. From there, it goes to a young medical student that aspires to be a doctor played by Jake McDorman. He seems like the perfect guy. He is tall, handsome, doing great in school and will be a doctor. The school he is at is Boston University. While he is walking, he sees a young woman who is being dropped off at school.

He is then doing rounds with his teacher, who is played by Sam McMurray. We see that he is hard on him, because he has high hopes for him. McDorman goes to join his class when he almost runs into the woman from earlier; she is played by Agnes Bruckner. We learn that she is on the same path as him, just not as advanced. McDorman is smitten.

McDorman seeks out Bruckner while she is studying outside. McDorman asks her out and she tells him that she can’t, because she has to study. McDorman gives her advice about how he does so well and tells her that she needs to come with him to clear her mind and she will do great on the test. He ends up taking her to a casino where they have a great time. They kiss while playing roulette.

The film then moves ahead quickly. Within six months of being together, McDorman and Bruckner move into together. He then asks her to marry him. She tells him that before that, he must meet her parents. Her parents are played by Julia Campbell and Kevin Kilner. He says all the right things and impresses them. We see that this is the first time there is a chink in his armor of perfection. We see that he gets dizzy and that he might be putting on an act. McDorman gets the blessing of her parents.

We also see his other problem. He gets on Craigslist and looks at erotic personal ads. He also sends selfies to women online. We see that he meets up with someone and the door closes.

As wedding plans go on, we see McDorman losing his mind. He goes to the casino more and more. He meets with up more women and the next one we see, he robs her. He also pulls out a knife and cuts her underwear off. We then see the detectives who are in charge of the case, played by Joshua Close and William Baldwin. When he gets home, he stuffs the underwear in a sock, ties it off and hides them under his mattress

There is some good editing of a montage with Bruckner getting wedding plans taken care of while McDorman purchasing items to rob more women. This includes him buying zip ties, duct tape and a handgun.

The next one though doesn’t go as planned. The woman fights back and scratches his neck. McDorman panics and shoots her a few times. This kills her and he flees. Bruckner asks him what happens and he says there was an unruly patient at work. She believes it and it seems plausible. The detectives begin to tighten up the search, now with a blurry picture of him.

As McDorman’s life spins out of control, he does what he can do keep in line. He is behind on rent, overdrawing his bank account and not telling Brucker what is going on. This comes to a head when the next victim fights back. Her husband was in the lobby of the hotel they go to and he comes in to save her. McDorman tries to flee with Bruckner, without telling her the truth. Will he get away or will the cops get to him first?

I have to lead off that this is a Lifetime movie. So the facts of the film are dead on, but the problem is that it also makes it less exciting. McDorman does very well as the lead. I believed he was the charismatic med student that was leading a double life. Really the only blemish is that his parents were divorced and it gave him a disjointed childhood. Bruckner was believable as the well-to-do, naïve college student as well. The story is good and realistic, plus scary. Close was pretty good in what little on screen time he got.

Now my problem is that this is a Lifetime movie. We know who the killer is from the beginning. We do get some good insight into what they did and how they did it. It also doesn’t make the story as exciting. It is just makes it boring, when it could have done more to build suspense. I thought for the most part, the rest of the actors were quite bland.

I would recommend giving this one a viewing you are interested in the topic. The story as to being factual is good, but if you are looking for exciting, I would avoid this one. Being a Lifetime movie, it doesn’t build suspense and just wants to tell the story, giving up on the entertainment value. McDorman, Bruckner and Close are good, but the rest of the cast is quite mediocre. I would only view this one if this sounds good and you want to learn more about the topic.


My Rating: 5 out of 10