Surveillance is a 2008 movie produced by Jennifer Lynch, daughter of the legendary David Lynch(Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, etc.) and is only her second film after a long gap –the break apparently being due to the critical mauling accorded to her first, which I haven’t seen. But although it is very gruesome indeed, Surveillance gripped me from start to finish.
On the surface, it’s a conventional enough story about crazed serial killings in a sunny American state. A rural police station finds itself invaded by a smooth man and his admiring female associate – evidently, the FBI have come to town, and the scene is set for a clash of cultures, as it becomes clear that the local cops are corrupt, and have been having themselves a fine old time terrorising innocent characters who stray into their path.
But one of the cops has now been murdered by the serial killers, and his partner has survived, although he is injured. As the two agents interrogate a group of witnesses, the sequence of events is told through flashbacks, and it becomes apparent that a young girl whose family has been killed holds the key to the mystery. This is still a conventional set-up, but Lynch has a very effective twist up her sleeve, and the ending of the film (after more gory scenes) is very troubling.
Not everyone will like this film, but I was impressed, almost despite myself. Surveillance isn’t for the faint-hearted, but it’s a relatively original, and rather memorable, piece of work. Bill Pullman and Julia Ormond are the stars, but the cast as a whole performs with gusto.