9 December 1999 | duane_vore
A psychological study of a police investigator
Less satisfying than "Silence of the Lambs," but nevertheless haunting, suspenseful, and worth a rental. It was one of those that stayed with me.
At heart, it is the psychological study of an ex-cop (Grant)trying to balance two opposing aspects: his compulsion to apprehend a child killer and his growing love for a woman (Baxter) and her young daughter (Weeks). The struggle forces him to confront his own limitations, the denial of which leads to the climax and possible tragedy. This is paralleled by Baxter's convincing portrayal of a mother vacillating between suspicion and trust, fear and love.
The film subtly but effectively sexualizes the daughter to give us glimpse of childhood through the psychopath's eyes, a technique which sharpens and crystallizes both the plot and mood. Unfortunately, the psychological study of the killer, though ample, seems week and would have benefited from more attention by the writer.