This set is actually the full-length film "The Killing Field" plus the first season of the Winter series which is six episodes. "The Killing Field" is five stars. We were surprised that it was this good, especially considering it's an Australian film. It starts with a prologue: "Not all serial killers have high IQs, but if you do something long enough you get really good at it." The story is about a young 15 year old girl named Rebecca "Becky" Ryan who goes missing in the small town of Mingara, Australia, population 1,527. The head investigator, Lochlan Mackenzie, calls in Eve Winter to help find the girl. Eve's specialty is finding missing people quickly. Two days after Becky goes missing, searchers with rescue dogs find a dead body in a freshly-dug grave. They keep searching and find four other bodies in nearby graves, all the work of a serial killer living in Mingara. The girls were all violently raped, their Achilles' tendons were cut so they couldn't run, and they were held captive until they starved to death which takes 3 weeks. Eve quickly identifies the girls and narrows in on the chief suspects in town. Then Becky's body is dumped in one of the shallow graves. Although she has her Achilles' tendon cut, she was not starved to death, nor was she violently raped. She's the victim of a copycat. Eve discovers that Becky had a boyfriend, Damien Jeffries. The night she disappeared, she met Damien at a secret hideaway where they had sex. But two people saw them together that night. One of them killed her. The other, the serial killer, frames Damien for all the murders. The story about the serial killer is very convoluted. If you don't pay close attention, you'll miss all the clues. SPOILER WARNING: All of the victims, including Becky, look alike, as in they could pass for sisters. There's a woman named Jennifer in town, the dance teacher who is also the wife of the school principal (a pedophile) and a the ex-wife of the serial killer. She's the reason he keeps murdering girls who look just like her. In fact she looks so much like the victims, I was kind of shocked the cops weren't onto that connection immediately. Meanwhile, another girl named Tamara goes missing. I will warn you that the very end is shocking. It turns out he takes these girls to a shipping container in the woods, hangs them from the ceiling wearing ballerina clothes, cuts their Achilles' tendons, and waits for them to starve, all after violently raping them. When you see it, it's pretty awful. The six-part series takes place in two locations, Kings Cross and Rocky Point and involves a man, Bjorn Johanson, who runs a drug and sex slave ring but also raped his eldest daughter and his foster daughter eight years ago. That starts a chain of events that cause a cascade of murders all around the family and the drug cartel. The series was barely worth one star. There were several moles and a lot of sleeping around by the cops on the case. That dumbed it down significantly. Watch the movie, "The Killing Field" on disc 1. Pass on the series.

The Fall Season 1

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The Fall is a British/Irish series that follows the killing spree of a serial killer in Belfast, Ireland.  He seems your average Joe, a husband with a wife and two small children, but inside he carries a lot of hatred toward women and society in general.

The film’s main protagonist is Stella Gibson, a British police detective brought in to solve a high-profile rape and murder.  But soon after she arrives more rapes and murders follow and she quickly deduces it’s the work of a serial killer.

The strength of this series falls on the shoulders of Gillian Anderson who plays Stella and on the writers who’ve plotted a terrifying look at just how vulnerable we all are.  We see Paul Spector, the serial killer, easily slip into women’s homes, play with their lingerie, move things around, and take photographs of himself while there, all undetected by the women he is stalking.  We see his unsuspecting wife who is so self-involved she doesn’t notice his long absences or how disturbed her children are becoming.  We see the victims who, even if they are smart enough to call the police, are quickly made to feel silly and foolish.

It’s a sad commentary on how society is male-dominated which means crimes against women go unreported, undetected, and often never investigated.

10 out of 10 stars.

There are three seasons.  In season 1, Stella discovers there is a serial killer stalking the dark-haired women of Belfast.  In season 2, she narrows the search down to Paul Spector, a grief counselor who was abused as a child when he was sent to a Catholic orphanage where he was repeatedly raped by the head priest.  In season 3, Paul is caught and shot and claims amnesia which makes prosecuting him almost impossible until Stella uncovers past crimes that were before his apparent amnesia.

If the screenwriters made this into a series of novels, I’d buy them.

Reviewed by Jill.

 

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