Review : Dear Mr Gacy (2010)

Dear Mr Gacy is yet another movie focusing on a famous serial killer.  However, it does succeed in differentiating itself from the mass. This made-for-TV movie is based on the memoir of Jason Moss, The Last Victim.

Jason Moss is a law student who, in order to write a paper for his criminology class, manages to establish a correspondence with John Wayne Gacy, months before his execution. He tricks Gacy into thinking he is simply a fan of the Killer Clown when his true purpose is to achieve what the police could never do : crack the mind of the infamous killer.

The strenght of the movie is that it focuses less on Gacy than it does on Jason. Jason’s journey down this dark path is far more interesting than learning about Gacy’s motives.  He is an unredeemable killer and the movie does not try to give a detailed portrayal of Gacy or provide any sort of explanations about his crimes.

Instead, Dear Mr Gacy lets us journey along Jason, who becomes more and more disturbed by his relationship with Gacy, as fake as it is in the beginnning.  What starts as an investigation for a college class turns into an experience that truly changes Jason. He becomes more violent, alienates his loved ones  and becomes paranoid. And all of this is the result of a man behind bars , who managed to affect this young man by simply writing and talking to him on the phone.

One scene that truly stands out is the meeting between John Wayne Gacy and Jason Moss. The tension is palpable and Jason’s fear is easily identifyable with. The intensity of the tension goes up and down, making it quite a thrilling ride.

The movie remains interesting thoughout even if nothing actually happens. It is a compilation of conversations, first by letters, then by phone and finally in person. Some people might find it boring but is is what makes Dear Mr Gacy a different kind of serial killer movie….in which no kills are depicted !

Overall, Dear Mr Gacy is a good movie which never attempts to embellish the true events it is based on in order to make the story more thrilling. Though its made-for-TV quality often shows, it is a movie to be recommended !

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