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By Felix Vasquez Jr. | May 15, 2008

Recounting the grizzly child murders that took place in the Moors of Europe, “See No Evil” is a sluggishly paced dramatic thriller that is often too centered on character to ever actually concentrate on the murders by Myra and Ian Bradley. Apart from its tedious pacing, the constant meandering from writer Neil McKay turns “See no Evil” into a trying experience (frankly, it bored me out of my skull).

McKay dizzyingly jumps from character to character, focusing on the parents of two missing children in connection with the Bradley’s, the media frenzy inflicting them, the blame one father takes as an alleged child murderer, etc. along with many other dubious turns in the story.

Part one of the mini-series spotlights parents David and Maureen’s friendship with the Bradley’s, the obvious hints at psychotic tendencies by the couple, and the tragedy that inevitably exposes the couple’s murderous habits (which was all so trying on my patience and attention). The characters have almost too much personality extrapolation, with the menace of the couple never truly emphasized until the last half of the second part, and relying mainly on build-up that’s never as good as it could be. McKay just seems to be going through the motions in the first half, and he constantly posits a pay-off that never arrives.

“The Moor Murders” never really takes advantage of the concept and prefers a passive look at these two psychopaths with a constant basis on past tense, rather than fully unfold the brunt of what predators these two were for years. We never see the victims, we never see any of the murders (not even suggestively), and so mired in sub-plots is McKay that even the killers are turned into supporting players with only a hinted importance.

McKay chooses instead to dwell on whether this hapless couple, drawn into the charm and appeal of the Bradley’s, bore witness to any of the murders, or even knew about the plans to commit them. It’s difficult to fault Menaul’s fantastic direction, though, as “See No Evil” has an excellent sense of dread and doom painting the Moors not so much as a beautiful landscape, but as a valley of death for the innocent children snared by the two.

I just wish this allegedly controversial movie would have let me in on why it was so “controversial.”

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