Add a Review

  • There are multiple and serious problems with the adaptation of the second book of Iris Johansen's bestselling Eve Duncan crime series.

    PROBLEM SET 1: What would possess anybody to adapt the 2nd book of a series, instead of the 1st? That's particularly an issue in The Killing Game, because even as a novel, it's only effective if you've already read Face of Deception; in some critical ways, these books are a single story arc, and by starting their adaptation in the middle of said arc, the producers have handicapped themselves with an almost insurmountable amount of exposition—and then left it all out!

    I watched this with someone who hasn't read the books, and all I got were questions: Is that cop guy her brother? (No, he was a detective on her murdered kid's case—read Face of Deception.) Is that reporter her boyfriend? (No, just a reporter—read Face.) Is that kid her niece? (Just a kid that looks like the dead kid—you need to read Face) Wasn't the killer executed at the beginning?? (Yes! Watch the movie! Read Face!) Is this her rich father's house? (No!) Who owns this place, anyway? (great, they've left out Logan—read Face, you'll like Logan) Isn't Joe a cop? How stupid is he? Why can't he find this fancy estate? (because Galen—never mind, they've left Galen out, too. So apparently Joe IS stupid.)

    Not only stupid, but miscast, which brings us to PROBLEM SET 2: The only characters in this entire fiasco that weren't desperately miscast were the 10 year old and the dog. It was depressing, how consistently miscast these actors were.

    Laura Prepon has her admirers, I know; I'm willing to concede that she is talented within a clear and well defined range. JOHANSEN'S Eve Duncan is a deeply complex character who isn't within three standard deviations of Prepon's range, though. And were the producers too cheap to even buy a bottle of Clairol? The particular shade of blonde she was sporting was so unflattering as to be distracting even to the person who hadn't read the books (What's wrong with her hair? Is it supposed to be that color? How old is she supposed to be, anyway? Are you kidding, I thought she was supposed to be 40!)

    It's fine when supporting actors like Ty Olsson are given a shot at the romantic lead, but this whole production would have been 90% better if Olsson had been cast as Mark the Reporter and Kavan Smith been given a shot at Joe Quinn; Smith is a more versatile actor and is actually a better demographic fit for the part, given that Joe is supposed to be 10-12 years older than Eve. But the utter lack of chemistry between Olsson and Prepon utterly doomed this production. The "love scenes" are so deeply squicky, I don't ever want to see either of those actors in a love scene again—with anybody, ever, ever, ever!

    I am a Teryl Rothery fan. She's far and away the most capable and believable actor in this cast. I've been very skeptical about all of these Lifetime Movie adaptations (let's be honest, adulterations) of popular women's fiction, but I gave this one a chance specifically because TR is always watchable—which she was, even in this mess. Unfortunately, Sarah Patrick is supposed to be the same age as Eve—not old enough to be Eve's own teenage mother. There's just nothing TR can do about being 20+ years older than the character she's supposed to be playing, no matter how well she plays Sarah. She sticks out like a sore thumb, and makes you wonder why the whole thing isn't about her!

    Brian Markinson can act, and isn't so much miscast as typecast. My friend who hasn't read the books took one look at him and said "He's a bad cop, right?" What the producers should have done was adapt Face of Deception and cast him as John Logan. He'd have been a fantastic choice as Logan.

    And Naomi Judd Is by her very nature 500% too glamorous to be playing Eve's prostitute/drug addict mother, even if she could act, which she manifestly cannot.

    PROBLEM SET THREE is just the final nail in the coffin lid: the MIA serial characters who are critical to the action.

    • John Logan, man of mystery, is a total and effective red herring in Face of Deception. Why not use at least THAT element? Even if all you keep from Face is his romantic interest in Eve and the fact that he owns the estate in AZ. Except that:

    • Logan's sidekick Galen is critical to the preservation of Joe's intelligence as a character. Without Galen running interference for Eve when she goes to Logan's place in AZ, Joe is left looking stupid—far, far too stupid to either be a cop, or be interesting to Eve.

    • Bonnie herself. Why eliminate Eve's psychic connection/conversations with Bonnie's ghost? Eve's latent and unadmitted-even-to-herself psychic gift has always been what set her apart from the general run of literary forensic heroines; the decision to just eliminate that who aspect of her character turned her into a flat, uninteresting cipher. Why maintain the pointless, useless character of Sandra, and dump BONNIE?!?

    I'm afraid that this ridiculous attempt at "interpreting" a popular women's fiction title "for film" is the last straw for me and Lifetime's adaptations. It's been bad enough, how Mandalay has managed to mangle Nora Roberts—THIS is just insupportable.
  • Eve Duncan (Laura Prepon) is an artist who lost her girl to murderer Robert Fraser who refuses to reveal her final location. He's executed taking the secret to his grave. 10 years later, Eve is now a forensic artist and there's a mass grave. Somebody steals a body, and taunts her with clues. He threatens little Jane but Eve is too late to save her mother. Eve feels the girl is a stand-in for her dead daughter, and she takes her away to protect her from the killer.

    I like the start of this movie. It has a good TV police procedural feel to it. As the movie continues, the twists and turns confuse the story. Characters that seems to be important come in and disappear for long stretches. There is a distinct lack of action in this movie. It's a Lifetime movie based on a crime novel. It was probably not transferred that well. The budget isn't there for anything exciting or compelling. Laura Prepon does an OK job, and could probably star in her own TV police procedural.
  • I was able to watch about 10 minutes before I had to turn it off in fear of throwing the actual book this movies was based on at the TV. The actress who played Eve had no concept of the character at all. It felt like she was reading the lines with no emotion for the first time. The actor chosen to play Joe...seriously? Could they have chosen anyone less likely to be "Joe"? Just wondering if anyone actually watched this before they aired it? As I said I only watched about 10 minutes but 2 was all you needed to see that they completely butchered the book and even if they had wanted to butcher the book, they could have at least had decent actors to make a fairly decent movie. By far the worst movie ever. Stick with the books, they are amazing.
  • Could any mother be colder? Throughout the entire film I never felt any sympathy for the main character whose daughter had be kidnapped and murdered ten years prior. Eve was one of the most coldest characters I've ever seen. If you read her books you love her and want to see her get answers concerning her daughters death. Even when she was supposedly in mortal danger she was stiff as a board. This actress couldn't show emotion if her life depended upon it. Who cast this film? These books had feeling, drama, heartbreak and emotion. NONE of which played out in this film. The connection between the main character and the FBI agent played a minimal role and had it been shown to it's full extent would have explained the role of Jane logically. The author should have held out for more reputable writers and producers. Keep the book, burn the movie.
  • Horrible, horrible acting!!! The lead actress, who starred in That 70's Show, was the worst actor! The title caught my attention. The camera work was fine. This movie could have been great, but the acting (if that's what they call it) ruined it for me! The plot or story line was interesting and should have been adapted with other actors and actresses. I really wish I could have liked it but I literally sat waiting for it to end. It wants 10 lines to submit a review but this movie isn't even worth 10 lines! What a waste of time! I probably need to read the books instead. From what I've read on here the books are better. I wish I would have read the reviews before the movie so I hadn't wasted all my time sitting through a movie with actors who are trying too hard to work with the little talent they had!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This film adaptation of Iris Johansen's "The Killing Game" is a by-the-numbers thriller with a focus on forensics and the psychological profile of a serial killer.

    The actress playing the lead named Eve Duncan makes a convincing forensic sculptor. Eve had a childhood filled with trauma in the rough Techwood district of Atlanta. At age 15, Eve gave birth to a daughter named Bonnie, who was taken away from and killed by a psychopathic killer with the child buried in the Chattahoochee National Park.

    But, a decade later, the killer returns with a vengeance, and he is targeting Eve, who has been so successful in her work as a sculptor and because her spirit was never broken. Now, the killer has singled out the little orphan named Jane, knowing the Eve will become attached to the child.

    As the action moves from Georgia to Arizona, the film turns into a cat-and-mouse-game with the authorities racing against the clock to discover the identity of the killer known only as "Dom." Through Eve's good forensic work, the trail leads to the place where it all started in Dillon, Arizona. It was there that Kevin Shaw, the son of a preacher, emerges as the profile of the killer.

    The film includes a good twist at the end in the revelation of who is Kevin Shaw. There was also a good set of secondary characters including good ol' Joe, who provides the love interest in the film. While "The Killing Game" unfolds as a standard detective yarn, the production values, acting, and the suspense were nonetheless very effective.