Writer-director Ulli Lommel takes on the real-life serial killer, Gary Ridgway, the man who plead guilty to the murder of 48 Seattle prostitutes over a 20-year span.
Green River Killer is an attempt to get into the mind of Ridgway and the film is told in documentary fashion intertwining Ridgway’s fleeting memories of the murders he can recall with actual footage of Ridgway’s taped confessions and autopsy footage. What might have been a great film somehow falls short of its mark. The film attempts to be much more than it really is…..it attempts to shock and the only real shocks to this film might be the autopsy footage, the film attempts to make Ridgway much more frightening than he really is and the film attempts to grab the viewer by the throat and pull them in to a world of murder and uneasiness and it simply does not deliver. Now, don’t get me wrong, someone even remotely resembling Ridgway is terrifying, but the film isn’t scary on any level. I can’t quite put my finger on why this film doesn’t work for me, but as a whole, the film jumps about way too often and never settles into a routine of playing out the story of what made Ridgway tick…..his comment that he never intended to kill the women makes for little interest and the film doesn’t even make you feel a sense of sadness for his victims, other than a surface sense of loss.
The film never really got off the ground, I sat there waiting for something interesting to happen and for something to really draw me into the film and before any of that took place, the film was over. If anyone goes into the viewing of this film, hoping for or expecting something along the lines of, Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer, don’t set your sights too high, chances are, you’ll come away extremely disappointed, if you finish watching this film at all.
Buy the Green River Killer on DVD at Amazon.com