14 April 2013 | Michael_Elliott
One of the Best Thrillers in Recent Years
An Amish Murder (2013)
*** 1/2 (out of 4)
Incredibly good made-for-TV thriller about former Amish woman Kate Kurkholder (Neve Campbell) who left her people only to return years later as a cop in the small town. Her people have turned their back on her but she needs their help when a serial killer appears to have returned to the town killing young girls and a secret from her past might reveal who it is. AN AMISH MURDER actually turned out to be one of the best thrillers I've seen in several years, which is somewhat shocking because a lot of TV movies just don't really do much except try to keep someone entertained for a short time. This film here clearly wanted to do so much more because it gave us a terrific mystery that keeps you guessing, a lot of character development and it also builds up some wonderful tension as everything plays out. I must admit that I thought I had figured out who the killer was by the ten-minute mark but I was completely wrong and all the twists and turns are just so good that one can't help but really be on the edge of their seat as everything plays out. I also thought the film did a good job with the main character's development because we get to see her in her new life but also see what haunts her from her Amish years. I thought the way the film showed the Amish people was quite good and it also managed to make you understand why the family would turn their back on her. There's a second subplot dealing with the woman's relationship with a profiler (Noam Jenkins) who is suffering from his own haunted past. Campbell really turns in one of the best performances of her career because she just adds so much depth to the character. She does a remarkable job showing the various emotions with this character and she's completely believable in the role. Jenkins is also terrific in his role as is C. Thomas Howell who plays the sheriff. Director Stephen Gyllenhaal does a very good job at keeping the film moving at a fast pace and thankfully he really brings a terrific atmosphere as well as some very tense moments. AN AMISH MURDER might have worked even better as a theatrical film since the dark subject matter could have shown more but there's still no question that it's one of the better thrillers in recent years.