Happy Face Killer

2014

Crime / Drama / Thriller

4
IMDb Rating 5.3/10 10 1103 1.1K

Director

Top cast

David Arquette as Keith Jesperson
Gloria Reuben as Melinda Gand
Jordana Largy as Candy
Emily Haine as Sissy Peyton
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
798.05 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
us  
23.976 fps
1 hr 26 min
Seeds 15
1.45 GB
1920*1080
English 2.0
NR
us  
23.976 fps
1 hr 26 min
Seeds 28

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by SusieSalmonLikeTheFish 5 / 10

Not good not bad, just not very memorable

This is one of your run-of-the-mill Lifetime movies, with decent but not very great acting, a plot that sort of drags on and some rather annoying soundtrack. I think the most disturbing part of the film was where the younger Keith Jesperson put the kitten in the microwave, that was something I'd expect in a horror film, not a Lifetime movie.

The Mountie thing, where Jesperson was fantasizing about joining the Royal Canadian Mounted Police... I don't know when this film takes place, but Mounties haven't worn red uniforms or rode horses in over half a century. They look, for the most part, exactly like American cops. And since Jesperson was a former Canadian resident, I'm surprised he wouldn't have known that.

The Happy-Face Killer is incredibly similar to countless other Lifetime films, so if you haven't seen it, you're not missing much. But it's good for passing the time with, and it made me aware of the real story behind the film; I looked up the real Happy-Face Killer case and it was incredibly shocking but interesting to read about (I'm a big fan of true crime stories).

Reviewed by rmax304823 5 / 10

Routine.

I don't know how long-distance truck drivers can stand it. Hours and hours on bleak interstate highways punctuated by mazes of lanes through cities like Norfolk and New York. And you must be sharp at all times. I hitched a ride with one driver who misestimated the height of his rig and the clearance of the Triborough Bridge and, pow, my head went through the windshield.

The boredom and stress are enough to drive you crazy. That may be what happened to David Arquette as Keith Hunter Jesperson, aka The Happy Face Killer. Probably not, though. Nobody knows why someone would deliberately set out to kill a number of people seriatim, including total strangers. We can all put ourselves in the place of the person who murders a friend or a spouse. Those are people who are in a position to hurt us, whose opinions we care about.

But a couple of hookers at truck stops? And then bragging about it later to the police and the FBI? The movie gives us the reliable child-abuse excuse, which can be dismissed with a wave of the hand. He grew up in a dysfunctional family. Ho hum. So did you and I. Furthermore I had a wicked hangnail when I was only five. Is it any wonder that I have all these bodies buried in my back yard? Spring turns the garden into a gay panorama of canary yellow Forsythia. In the end, when a rough-hewn answer is finally uncovered, it's more likely to be due to a neurological confluence centered somewhere in the neighborhood of the amygdala, which governs the fight-or-flight response.

Well, I'm rambling a little, I know, but the film doesn't really call for much treatment. The two performers-in-chief are David Arquette, who does a credible job as the serial murderer, and Gloria Reuben as the FBI investigator, Mellinda Gand, who intrudes into what the Oregon cops consider a local affair. She's smooth, understated, and pixyish, and the fact that she's a woman allows the writers to get it some digs at the patriarchal society we're suffered to live under. Both Arquette and Reuben have a couple of good moments on screen but neither has a chance to stretch his or her acting chops. The formula is too strictly adhered to. It's as if they were actually aiming at mediocrity.

There are a horde of movies about serial killers, perhaps more movies than killers. They almost form a genre of their own. As these things go, this is strictly routine, filmed in gray under the lowering skies of Vancouver, B.C.

Reviewed by hitchcockthelegend 6 / 10

The Jesperson Temper.

Happy Face Killer is directed by Rick Bota and written by Richard Christian Matheson. It stars David Arquette, Gloria Reuben, Daryl Shuttleworth, Stefanie von Pfetten and Josh Blacker. Music is by Hal Foxton Beckett and Marc Baril and cinematography by Adam Sliwinski.

This is an interpretation of the real life events surrounding the workings – hunt for – and capture of Canadian serial killer Keith Hunter Jesperson.

It's one of those bone of contentions with adaptations to screen of real life serial killers, with poetic license etc, that invariably many feel cheated of not getting the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The story of Keith Hunter Jesperson, who would become known as the Happy Face Killer, was not known to me, but when it caught my eye in the TV listings, with Arquette in a serious dramatic role, I had to take a look. Crucially for someone like me who was unaware of the case, it helped me to get more from the viewing experience by reading up on Jesperson after the viewing. I would urge any potential first time viewers to do the same.

The core essence of Jesperson's crimes and his mindset is correct, but motives and means, and crucially childhood traumas, are sketchy at best. If able to accept the poetic license factor, this is still a very detailed and skin itching take on a man who it is confirmed killed 8 women. The murders are staged expertly by the makers to get the required impact to stun the viewers, the procedural aspects of the investigation, led by FBI Agent Melinda Gand (an excellent Reuben) are insightful and gripping, and Arquette, in spite of not remotely fitting the physique or profile of the real Jesperson, works very hard to convince as a man who could turn murderous by the slightest provocation.

In the pantheon of serial killer movies this is hardly essential stuff, but it is well worth a look and worthy of inspection by those interested in the topic to hand. 6.5/10

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