Helter Skelter (2004)

TV Movie   |  Not Rated   |    |  Biography, Crime, Drama


Helter Skelter (2004) Poster

A new take on the Manson Family murders, with a keen focus on Charles Manson himself.


6.4/10
3,260

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Cast & Crew

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Director:

John Gray

Writers:

Vincent Bugliosi (book), Curt Gentry (book), John Gray

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User Reviews


21 May 2004 | furirosa
9
| Above Average TV Fare
Doubtless this will be compared with the 1970s TV movie for most of the feedback on it. Having seen both, the main thoughts that come to mind are that in this version there is more emphasis and clarity on the motives and goals of Manson, as well as what life in the "Family" entailed. A lot of the story is shown through the eyes of Linda Kasabian.

But what really stands out is that unlike in this remake, in the 70's movie the writers had an extremely irritating penchant for 2 characters to have a conversation in a scene, and then one character suddenly starts talking to the camera like a narrator. Thankfully that is gone, and instead of 2 deadpan detectives talking about the crimes that happened, in this version they show what happened.

As anyone who has seen newsreels of the real Manson will attest, the acting of Jeremy Davies as Manson is excellent, even eerily hair raising in some scenes. It would be clear to anyone giving this a fair viewing that Davies has watched a lot of footage of Manson's talking style and mannerisms, and has done his homework quite well.

One drawback in this version is the sudden use of film negatives for 1 or 2 second shots, to try and make the violence look more dramatic, but these efforts usually just marred the scene.

Overall, well worth watching if you haven't seen it, or would like a fresh take on the Tate-LaBianca murders. Certainly better than most of the shallow junk on the tube these days.

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