“American Crime” is a scary, creepy, stylistic and cool murder mystery flick. In “American Crime,” a small town in the Heartland is being terrorized by a killer that enjoys stalking and videotaping his victims every move; shopping, working, dressing, undressing. The Killer then sends a videoptape of him killing this person to the next victim on his list.
A young news reporter named Jessie St. Claire, who works for a local TV station (a very well cast Rachel Leigh Cook), begins investigating these small town murders. Her and her crew, the ambitious and desperate for a break cameraman Rob (Kip Pardue) and her sexy yet deceitful producer Jane Berger (Annabella Sciorra) realize that covering this murder mystery could be a great career move. It’s all a great journalistic adventure until Jessie receives a videotape of the killer stalking her. As the three get deeper into their investigation, they start to quickly realize that anyone amongst them could be the killer including each other.
To make matters worse, a cheeky, sly, lone wolf reporter named Albert Bodine (played by Cary Elwes in his best performance since “The Princess Bride”) from the nationally syndicated television show “American Crime” has come to town to do a piece on this Heartland mystery. Albert’s arrival only raises more suspicions as horrible things start to happen to the group one by one.
“American Crime” was shot amazingly on digital by director Dan Mintz (the digital cinematography here gives 28 Days Later a run for its money). Every shot of the film attacks the senses and leaps of the screen. Written by Jeff Ritchie and Jack Moore (Cookers), the story contains more twists and turns than Lombard Street. When you think one person could be the Killer, suddenly you realize that it could be someone else. “American Crime” has a slight nod to Hitchcock with its blend of suspense punctuated by bits of satirical humor that keep the viewer slightly off balance. But the best thing about the flick is that it’s a departure from the standard Hollywood script where in the first five minutes of the film you know exactly who the Killer is.
Even with it’s amazing cinematography, editing tricks and great cast, what makes “American Crime” a cool film is that deep down below the surface it’s a good old fashioned American noir flick, where you will actually have to pay attention to figure out just who the Killer