Saturday, December 31, 2011

A review of "Dear Mr. Gacy"

Confessions of a Film Junkie: A review of “Dear Mr. Gacy”

By: Brian Cotnoir

American’s for some reason or another have always had some unique and unknown fascination with serial killers.  Lately I’ve been noticing a lot more independent film releases which are essentially biographies of famous serial killers, and they’re not just films loosely based on actual events—these films stay as true as they can to the stories and the methods of these madmen murderers.  For decades before serial killers such as Ed Gein, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Charles Manson have provided inspiration for some of horrors most notorious villains and bad guys, but now it appears that the real life murderers are finally getting recognition for their life’s work and legacies.  Recently, I watched a film about serial killer John Wayne Gacy, entitled “Dear Mr. Gacy”, and I almost never say this about horror films/thrillers, but this film scared the crap out of me.  I am dead serious this movie is so chilling; I actually had to pause the movie a few times and splash my face with cold water to help calm myself down.                                          
William Forsythe is Terrifying as
notorious American Serial Killer
John Wayne Gacy
    The story of “Dear Mr. Gacy” is based on the true events and conversations that took place between Gacy and a young college student named Jason Moss.  Moss wants to write his thesis paper on John Wayne Gacy and believes that he can get Gacy to open up about his life and find out what makes him tick.  Moss begins to send letters to Gacy.  In the letters Moss lies to Gacy and says he’s from an abusive home, that he thinks he might be homosexual, and that he’s thinking of becoming a street hustler, and how he believes that Gacy is the only person who could understand him.  Jason Moss’ lies (along with a few homoerotic pictures he sent to Gacy) eventually get the stoic murderer to open up to him.  Moss has Gacy eating out of the palms of his hands, and the whole time Gacy believes that it is he who is taking advantage of Jason Moss.  At one point Moss contemplates if what he is doing is wrong or harmful as he begins to exhibit erratic and destructive behavior—he manages to push through and it all comes down to one first and final encounter with Gacy himself in prison.  I don’t want to give away the thrilling (and 100% true ending), but I will tell you once you see it, you will be left with a feeling of terror and unease.     

Forsythe & Moss's characters meet for the 1st time
The Real Gacy and Jason Moss
     The acting in this film is fantastic.  Jesse Moss (no relation to the real life Jason Moss) is fantastic as the films protagonist, and actor William Forsythe is absolutely terrifying as the serial killer John Wayne Gacy.  I actually read parts of Jason Moss book The Last Victim years before this film was made and this film made the stories he told all the more frightening.  It’s actually quite a good book.  I believe that John Wayne Gacy was the most dangerous serial killer the world has ever seen and this film does a excellent job of not sugar-coating this psychotic murderer or distorting the truth of his horrible and bloody legacy.      
   I would recommend this film to anyone who is a fan of Serial-Killer Horror films and/or Psychological Thrillers, but be warned this is a terrifying film based on true events and is one of the more accurate films I’ve seen that is based on real-life events, which I think adds to the terror because they didn’t have to add or make up anything to make him more scary because he was already one of the most shocking and evil people to have existed in history.

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