Next Time I'll Aim for the Heart | Chicago Reader

Next Time I'll Aim for the Heart

Though not a horror film in the gory or jumpy sense, this 2014 portrait of a serial killer is chilling in its intimacy. Based on the true story of a murderer who terrorized northern France in the late 1970s, shooting women or mowing them down in stolen cars and then sending derisive letters to the gendarmerie, the film follows one timorous officer (Guillaume Canet) who begins to unravel as the case unfolds. Director Cédric Anger uses contrast brilliantly—in one shot the camera pulls out from a poster of a half-naked woman to a rotten, half-eaten banana with a bullet lodged inside—and the choral passages of Grégoire Hetze's symphonic score summon an eerie religiosity, particularly when paired with the killer's self-flagellation. However, the film is more suggestive than illuminating; Anger magnifies the killer's quotidian life but leaves his motive and backstory frustratingly blank. In French with subtitles.

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