Mindhunter: The Best of True Crime?
Writer: Jarrett Crepeau
Images Courtesy of Rottentomatoes.com
Craving something unsettling for Halloween that isn’t a campy horror flick? Check out Mindhunter, but be warned, it's definitely not a show for those with weak stomachs, it deals with some pretty violent crimes committed by actual serial killers which is something I’ll get into.
The show comes from a book written by real FBI agent, John E. Douglas and an author by the name of Mark Olshaker titled Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit. The book details Douglas’ research in the early 70’s of criminal psychology by interviewing killers like Charles Manson and Ed Kemper. Without Douglas we wouldn’t be using the term serial killer today, and America’s fascination with them probably would not be the same either.
The show spawned when Charlize Theron, (An executive producer on the show, known for her action films like Atomic Blonde and Mad Max: Fury Road) gave David Fincher, (Also and executive producer and director of a few episodes, if you haven’t seen any of his films please fix that ASAP) a copy of the book. Fincher fell in love with it and teamed up with Australian screenwriter, Joe Penhall, who made the film version of The Road, to bring Mindhunter to life on Netflix.
So with those brilliant minds behind the show, what about the casting? A fictional version based on Douglas, a character named Holden Ford is our lead played by Jonathan Groff, (A Glee alumni) who not only fits the role perfectly, he excels in it, as we see Holden try to balance being a curious Behavioral Science agent and processing the things that he learns from these murders. Holden’s partner, Bill Tench played by Holt McCallany ( Who previously worked with Fincher on Alien 3, but don’t let the mediocrity of that film tarnish Fincher, who has certainly made up for it time and time again). Holt is an older agent, in his early 50s, who first takes on Holden as an assistant for Road School, where they would teach local police departments the basics of criminal psychology. The final main cast member is Dr. Wendy Carr played by Anna Torv of the sci-fi hit Fringe, she is a psychology professor the two agents recruit to help with the case study. My favorite dynamic that the writers illustrate perfectly, is how these three cope with the study. It's hard to listen to these people go into gruesome detail about the things they did with no remorse and it really takes its tole on the trio in different ways.
Ultimately there so much to be drawn into with this show, everything from the acting, music (60’s and 70’s rock, one of my favorites), to the cinematography and writing. It’s all good, in fact I’d say it’s one of the best Netflix shows the come out this year. This show it's all my boxes and honestly has become the new Breaking Bad for me. Luckily all 10 episodes of the first season are on Netflix right now, and a second season has already been ordered by our Netflix overlords. There is even talk that Fincher wants this show to be up to five seasons long, which I can see happening easily as the first season hints at two storylines that could be visited in the future, as well as granting Holden’s wish of interviewing Charles Manson? Who knows? But that is something I definitely want to see.