Zodiac ★★★★½

/r/letterboxd film raffle recommendation by av.

This is not a typical crime procedural serial killer movie. There's no cat and mouse game with the killer, there's no solving clues until they finally catch him. This movie is one big maze, a maze that only has dead ends. The tagline for Zodiac is 'There's more than one way to lose your life to a killer' and that describes exactly what this movie is about: the fruitless obsession of the main character to solve this unsolvable case. Despite knowing that there would be no grand finale where they finally catch the killer I was still very invested in his journey to nowhere. In that way it avoids a lot of cliches that you'd usually find in these types of movies.

The Zodiac Killer doesn't strike often, there's only a couple of scenes where he actually kills someone, but they leave a sense of dread that carries through the rest of the movie. The scene by the lake especially leaves an impact for how real it feels. There's no music or sound cues, just two people at the wrong place at the wrong time, something that can happen to anyone.

This is definitely one of the best movies of this type I've seen, it's up there with The Vanishing (1988) and Memories of Murder (2004) for me.