The Frozen Ground (2013)
Films about serial killers can be deeply fascinating and gruelling, or they can be like Scott Walker's The Frozen Ground: limp, unremarkable and desperately lacking in suspense. It would seem insensible for me to say that Robert Hansen's actions deserve a better handling than what they are given here, but there's little doubt that The Frozen Ground would have made for a more exhilarating watch, and a better film, had writer/director Scott Walker been able to free himself from the conventional "Special Victims Unit" build-up and workmanship. As it is, however, the film is far too long-winded and overexplanatory, and populated with characters we've seen far too many times before. The Alaskan geography should have made for a perfect, unforgiving backdrop, but it is underutilized, and the film is also occasionally marred by sub-standard special effects. Nicolas Cage and John Cusack both phone in their stock performances. And when it comes to the perpetrator himself, it seems the filmmaker wanted to make him as impersonal and generic as possible, instead of actually getting under his skin and making him interesting.