Earl Brooks (Kevin Costner) has it all. A beautiful wife, a talented and gorgeous daughter and his own business, he wants for nothing. However Earl has a secret. He has an addiction which he finds hard to keep under control, regardless of how many AA meetings he attends. Earl is a killer, and the urge is getting stronger.
Earl’s alter ego Marshall (William Hurt) is always there. Always taunting Earl, telling him he deserves a ‘treat’. After much badgering from Marshall, Earl gives in. He is meticulous in his planning. Everything is done to perfection. However when Earl kills a couple he makes a big mistake. The curtains were open and someone has seen him at work. A photographer called Mr. Smith (Dane Cook) lives in the apartment block opposite Earl’s latest victims, and he has seen everything. Mr. Smith approaches Earl and tells him he wants to go on a kill with Earl or he’ll tell the police everything.
Hot on Earl’s trail is Det. Tracy Atwood (Demi Moore). She knows that she’s looking for the ‘Thumbprint Killer’, but doesn’t yet know that his name is Earl Brooks. Adding to Earl’s woes is his daughter who has left college after the death of a student. Earl begins to suspect that he isn’t the only one with a murderous alter ego. Earl struggles to cope with his daughter’s lies, Mr. Smith’s blackmail and the persistence of Det. Atwood.
I love this movie. I remember first seeing it when I worked in Blockbuster Video. I was drawn to the idea of Kevin Costner playing a serial killer, the change of role really intrigued me. After I saw it I recommended it to everyone who came into the store, with a lot of positive feedback. I will do so again. You need to see this. It’s one of the finest thrillers in years, and everyone is on top form. Extra mention must go to William Hurt who is clearly revelling in his role as the murderous Marshall. I remember reading that this was supposed to be the first in a trilogy, and I must say it’s a massive shame that the other two movies have not been made. The movie is tightly plotted and really grabs your attention. Just watching how much preparation Earl Brooks goes into before a kill is astounding. You can see that he sees killing as an addiction very similar to drugs or alcohol, and that he really wants to get a handle on it. Find yourself a copy and dig in.