Occult and serial killers go hand in hand, especially in Hollywood. The Horsemen is directed by Jonas Akerlund, a very active Swed who’s had an interesting life. He was one of the original members of the cult Black Metal band Bathory, kick-starting the whole black metal thing in Nordic countries and went on to direct a bunch of music videos for stars like Metallica, Prodigy, Madonna and others. If you’re intrigued by this metal thing, I recommend another Canadian documentary: Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey. The script was written by Dave Callaham, who already did a decent job with Doom a couple of years earlier. This is a classical police detective story with all the usual elements: we have one depressed and widowed detective, determined to catch his killer as he’s slipping deeper into the void and one sick and twisted serial killer. I have to admit that suspension and killer thing was seen some ten years earlier in now already a cult movie Cell, starring Jennifer Lopez and intimidating Vincent D’Onofrio. What I liked most about The Horsemen is the bleak atmosphere that’s hanging over every second of the movie. Everything seems fucked up and if they spent another year developing the script and general story, this would be one of those great movies that you watch with a bottle of whiskey and a cigarette, pondering upon this fucked up thing we call life.
After a gruesome murder was discovered, detective Aidan Breslin is called to the scene. Known for his expertise in dental forensics, he is faced with a brutal crime that seems to be committed by a meticulous and ruthless killer. First there was a message “come and see”, written in blood, and now he’s looking at a dead body of a Mrs. Spitz, hanging from suspensions in her bedroom, dead. On the walls of the bedroom he finds the same message and the game is on. However, this isn’t the best time for Aidan. Recently widowed, he lost contact with his two sons and is slowly descending into madness. Will he catch his killer is up to you to find out.
Of course, we know that Dennis Quaid and Ziyi Zhang (House of Flying Daggers, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Memoirs of a Geisha) were great, but I have to mention Clifton Collins Jr, who was phenomenal. He’s one those actors that nail almost every part and he’s been in a tone of movies, you will start noticing him much more in the future because I think he’s one step from becoming a real star. The Horsemen may be closest to another movie featuring cold and bleak environment: Insomnia, a much better movie but without the occult and edgy stuff that you will see here. So, if you’re tired of your usual serial killer movies, here’s another but with a little twist to break the boredom, enjoy.
Director: Jonas Åkerlund
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Ziyi Zhang, Clifton Collins Jr., Liam James, Eric Balfour
Fun Stuff: Straight to DVD in the US and UK. Yep, it sucks. Jonas Åkerlund was sufficiently intrigued by the cult of suspension that he even considered doing it himself, after meeting several devotees of the practice.