Film4: Sunday 13 December, 1.00am
San Francisco police are baffled by a series of murders that they’re reluctant to concede as the work of a serial killer. Criminal psychologist Sigourney Weaver could help but she’s a traumatised recluse since surviving an attack by a deranged ‘fan’ of her college lectures. Ingenious, brutal suspense thriller, skilfully staged by Jon Amiel, director of the original Singing Detective on British TV.
It’s acted with tense conviction and the casting’s cute – petite Holly Hunter is the feisty cop while statuesque Sigourney is the frightened victim. Overlooked in the serial-killing year of Se7en and The Usual Suspects, Copycat tuned out to be the last time Amiel worked with material on a par with Dennis Potter’s The Singing Detective.
Copycat was followed by Bill Murray’s mildly diverting comedy The Man Who Knew Too Little and the Sean Connery flop Entrapment. Then came The Core and Paul Bettany’s Darwin film, Creation. Amiel’s most recent effort was the deceptively titled Deliverance Creek, an American Civil War TV movie produced by Nicholas Sparks.