WHAT it’s about: The infamous Zodiac Killer, who terrorized and killed a number of people in San Francisco area in the 1970s and Robert Graysmith, the cartoonist who became obsessed with his every, cryptic move and eventually wrote the non-fiction novel of the same name.
WHO’S in it: Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chloe Sevingny and Anthony Edwards.
WHEN it came out: 2007
HOW come you haven’t heard of (or just seen) it before: It didn’t get the mainstream media attention it should have. Critics loved it, but I don’t recall the ad campaign at all. I mean, unless you were a self-proclaimed Gyllenhallic at the time, it was a pretty tough sell. A nearly three-hour thinking man’s thriller with no real resolution is not exactly popcorn muncher bait.
- It’s directed by DAVID FINCHER. You know, the man who brought us Fight Club, Se7en, The Social Network and Alien 3!?
- The back story, based on true events, is remarkably chilling. It may start off like a standard urban legend – couple at Lover’s Lane get killed by a mysterious mad man – but as things move along, slowly but oh-so-surely, things get more and more real.
- There’s a whole lot of Gyllenhaal in vintage plaids and cords, mumbling like an indoor kid.
- RDJ acts like Tony Stark in the 1970s. Or himself in the mid 1990s.
- Mark Ruffalo just knows how to pick movies. And hairstyles. And just general ways of being.
- It’s got the most perfectly creepy 1970s folksy rock/spooky soul soundtrack featuring stellar, underused Donovan, Issac Hayes and Three Dog Night tracks.
- The cinematography, much like that in The Social Network, is off-colour gorgeous, making everything seem like a terrifying, yet consuming dream.
- It contains one of the most horrifically realistic movie murders I have ever seen in my life. There’s no corn syrup or bad, pre-kill puns. Just a dude and a knife and no fucking mercy. Sure, it’s brutal but it’s brilliant. At least for us desensitized slasher fans. It’s Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer stuff. Only worse. Cause you know it actually happened.