Review: Sevigny Mesmerizes in the Dark, Ludicrous 'Those Who Kill'


Review; Sevigny Mesmerizes in the Dark, Ludicrous 'Those Who Kill'


Before a juicy, shocking little twist at the end, one that follows a tension-filled climax, the crime drama ‘Those Who Kill’ sets itself apart from others in its genre, albeit barely. It’s far from perfect, and like so many other American re-imaginings of foreign drama, something feels lacking and lost in translation, but ‘Those Who Kill’ is compelling where it matters most.

Yet another American television adaptation of a Danish program, and yet another production infused with the cold hand of Scandinavian murder mystery (it seems to be their main export), ‘Those Who Kill’ draws closer the bond between the detective and the deceased.

While it occasionally missteps, falling into all too familiar clichés that simply seem forced, for the most part, the new A&E serial is strangely captivating, though its reception will be completely dependent on how viewers enjoy the two stars.

They are both peculiar ones, to be sure. Chloë Sevigny, the mysterious, decided, American actress of Polish and French Canadian descent and one always thoughtful about her roles, stars as homicide detective Catherine Jensen. She looks the part of a rookie cop, and while she has recently been promoted to work amid elder male officers who don’t care for her ways, she acts and sounds the measured veteran.

Thankfully, she is neither completely the nervous neophyte nor the wildcard maverick, both of which would result in eye-rolling, and there is already some of that.

The man she enlists to help her track a killer is equally cerebral and weird. Thomas Schaeffer, played with controlled chaos and nervous stares by James D’Arcy, is an insightful and invested forensic psychologist. Together, after some reluctance and gamesmanship, the two set about in what is a very gloomy and grim Pittsburgh – I guess that’s the closest to Denmark there is in the States.

Review; Sevigny Mesmerizes in the Dark, Ludicrous 'Those Who Kill'

The actors may be more interesting than their characters, but the marginal success of the pilot has everything to do with Sevigny and D’Arcy. Of course their characters have shady, sordid pasts that serve to make them sharper yet more troubled detectives. As bright as they are, they also seem to conveniently bumble too.

They are given some cringe-worthy lines, and more than once across the 50-minute pilot do holes pop up in the plot.

Still, the look, feel, and tone are perfect for a taught, personal crime drama, and the two leads are most watchable. Sevigny can brilliantly go from calm to hysterics in a blink of an eye.

After a very cool cold open and creepy credits sequence, a dead body at a factory sets in motion a rather straight forward murder mystery. The pilot feels more a movie than an episode of a crime series; while the murder doesn’t begin a season-long investigation as in ‘The Killing,’ it’s pivotal in slowly fleshing out the characters.

It’s good too, because at least for one episode, the police doings are ridiculous – Jensen’s investigation, Schaeffer’s ideas, and the killer’s actions all strain credulity.

It’s easy to pick out all the tropes, but ‘Those Who Kill’ does it better than most, and hints at potential – it’s closer to ‘The Killing’ than it is the American version of ‘The Bridge.’ With Sevigny in the lead, and the hope that the writers can shake some of the absurdities and conventions that make up American police procedurals, the show can maintain intrigue and suspense. And hopefully keep us caring for the characters instead of yelling at them for not paying attention to the man they just captured.

‘Those Who Kill’ premieres on A&E on March 3 at 10/9c.

- Chloë Sevigny
- Those Who Kill
- A&E

Written by: AnthonyWrites
Mar 2nd, 2014, 3:55 pm

Images courtesy of A&E


Level 1 (54%)
Since: 06/Aug/13
Message Posted On Mar 5th, 2014, 3:24 pm

I know people get tired of the US "stealing" these shows, but so far I've liked them all. 'The Killing' was a little slow at times, but good enough to overcome the pace. And 'The Bridge' is one of my favorite shows. Can't wait for season 2. And I hope this show is equally as good as 'The Killing' oreven half as good as 'The Bridge'.


Message Posted On Mar 4th, 2014, 9:26 am
This show is a winner. Suspense, mystery, action, all crammed into a neat package. More please.

Level 1 (70%)
Mood: aggravated
Since: 02/Feb/13
Message Posted On Mar 4th, 2014, 3:30 am

Aye, the Danish version more or less sucked, so can't recommend that one.


Message Posted On Mar 3rd, 2014, 10:19 am
YOU SAID IT BROTHER I saw the us pilot and I liked it so much that I downloaded the danis show, but after 15 unbearably loooooooooong and boring minutes I turned it off and deleted it. the us show takes whats best of the danish show and does it in 42 minutes, whereas the danish tells the same story more or less but it drags it to an hour and a half, and that's time you'll never get back. go chlöe!!

Message Posted On Mar 3rd, 2014, 5:01 am
The original Danish Den Som Draeber was fairly dull. Only a couple of things stand out, something with the doctor and girl when she is trapped in a box, Kai Proctor is in an episode, and they gave it a fairly decent movie ending after it had been cancelled. I didn't want to give anything on the box thing. Too bad Hit and Miss was dropped, Sevigny even with the strap on has a hell of a body. And it was the better story.
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