“Taut, tense, and extremely gritty!”
Every year, Jim Tahna travels to a landmark made famous by the greatest serial killers. He is a self-confessed grief tourist, and this year his fascination lies with legendary arsonist Carl Marznap. Shortly after checking into his seedy motel room, he notices a prostitute in the room next door, and it’s not long before Jim’s own uncontrollable impulses take over. Dark Tourist is a violent and uncomfortable watch. Michael Cudlitz puts in the performance of his career as the chain-smoking Jim, especially once the reasons for his obsession with anguish are finally revealed. Taut, tense, and extremely gritty, Dark Tourist will not appeal to everyone, but if you’re a fan of Taxi Driver or Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer this will be right up your street.
The one film in the festival that could conceivably be walking away with Oscars, Dark Tourist is the story of security guard Jim Tahna (Michael Cudlitz) who, once a year, takes a vacation to important locations in the life of whichever serial killer he’s picked this time. But Tahna has his own problems and a secret we don’t get to learn of until close to the end of the picture. Cudlitz is superb in the violent, messed up, and ultimately tragic lead role, and Melanie Griffith is also excellent as the waitress who befriends him. A very good film, beautifully shot by director Suri Krishnamma, but it’s not one to watch twice.
JOHN LLEWELLYN PROBERT
Director: Suri Krishnamma
Writers: Franki John Hughes
Starring: Melanie Griffith, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Michael Cudlitz
Running time: 83 minutes
FrightFest Screening: 26 August 2013