An officer tracking a serial killer finds out that the victims might be the real monsters.
Special Crimes Investigator Jodie Snyman (Erica Wessels) has been attempting to locate a ring of pedophiles in South Africa for years, unsuccessfully. After a drug bust goes awry, Jodie is reassigned to a murder case. After she starts looking into it, she discovers that the victim has a set of initials carved in his chest. More victims with initials carved into their bodies start to pop up around the city, but Jodie starts to discover that the victims are all connected with a pedophile ring that abducted a group of young girls in the ‘90s on behalf of Cabinet Member FJ Nolte (Deon Lotz). Jodie is assisted by Ntombizonke Bapai (Hlubi Mboya), who has her own experiences with child trafficking. But is it right to stop a killer who is murdering child rapists?
I’m sure at least most of you remember Dexter, a show based around the premise of a serial killer who murders other serial killers. This isn’t quite that, but it still follows the basic idea that a serial killer who is killing the right people might be justified. In this case, you almost feel like the killer is more justified than on Dexter, because we are told through reaction shots, which make the impact almost worse, about how horrible the things done to these children were. While all of the traffickers are essentially tortured to death, you pretty much root for it, because they’re literally the worst of the worst. However, we also are rooting for Jodie, our protagonist, who is, at least theoretically, supposed to catch this killer. It gives the movie a decent level of complexity for the first half.
A lot of the movie depends on the performances of Erica Wessels and Hlubi Mboya and they both do a great job. Wessels plays Jodie as someone who is filled with self-doubt and frustration about her inability to protect children in the past who now finds herself finally positioned to do something. Mboya has to play a character who is putting on a strong public face when dealing with law enforcement, but secretly is being torn apart by her past and what she knows she has to do now. The pair have great chemistry when they’re onscreen.
The downside to the movie is that it doesn’t do a lot new with the thriller elements. They’re mostly old cliches and, honestly, you keep being disappointed that something doesn’t end up turning out a little differently than you expected. That’s not to say that the scenes aren’t still effective, they’re cliches because they work, but it feels a little too formulaic at times.
Overall, it’s still a decent movie and definitely worth seeing.
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