The Murderer (2023) Movie Review Netflix: Slow Narrative Plays Killjoy in What Would Have Been an Enjoyable Murder Mystery

With a steady influx of Thai creations on Netflix in recent months, Thailand’s reputation for delivering intriguing stories has been gaining global recognition.

The Murderer, directed by Wisit Sasanatieng, is a two-hour offbeat crime movie that aims to masterfully blend elements of dark comedy within a chilling narrative.

Starring Phetthai Vongkhumlao (Nawat), Eisaya Hosuwan (Sai), James Laver (Earl), Sompong Choptham (Boonluck), and Chananticha Chaipa (June), among others in lead roles, the film promises a gripping and unique experience.

Also Read: Why Oppenheimer is Not for Everyone

The Murderer 2023 Movie Synopsis

A series of petrifying murders in one night send shivers down the police department. Police Major Nawat Banluecha is assigned the task to put the culprit behind bars.

Image Credits: Netflix

Who is the prime suspect? A foreigner who happens to be the Son-in-law of the family whose members were killed.

The Murderer: Positives

The premise of The Murderer immediately captures attention as it revolves around seven people meeting their end in a single location.

This unconventional concept alone draws viewers in, piquing their curiosity about how such a nightmarish scenario could unfold.

The use of dark comedy within the narrative strikes a perfect balance between keeping the audience engaged while not undermining the seriousness of the crimes committed.

Moreover, the storyline itself is a tightly woven web of logical threads, leaving little to no loose ends.

The Murderer unfolds the events of the murders backward through well-executed flashbacks, a typical technique.

Image Credits: Netflix

This approach maintains a constant sense of intrigue and fascination, making the audience eager to piece together the puzzle and understand the motives behind the heinous acts.

Furthermore, the film’s ambiance is a testament to the director’s skill in creating a dark and disturbing atmosphere.

The scenes depicting the murders are chilling and visually impactful, leaving a lasting impression on the viewer.

While the dark comedy aspect occasionally shines, it is the consistently successful portrayal of the unsettling visuals that adds to the overall experience.

Complementing the film’s gripping narrative and atmospheric setting is the intuitive and captivating background score.

The music immerses the audience into the world of The Murderer, enhancing the emotional impact of each scene and intensifying the suspense as the story unfolds.

Despite having so many upsides on a deeper examination, is The Murderer really worth it?

How are the Performances?

Phetthai Vongkhumlao plays Nawat, the cop tasked with solving the chilling murders. His portrayal is a standout, seamlessly blending humor and focus.

As the sole actor driving the dark comedy in the film, Vongkhumlao’s performance adds a layer of wit and levity to the otherwise grim narrative, making him an entertaining character to watch.

Image Credits: Netflix

Eisaya Hosuwan delivers an affable performance as Sai, offering a stark contrast to the intensity of the unfolding killing spree.

Her character’s quiet and charming demeanor serves as a much-needed respite, providing a breath of fresh air amidst the tension and suspense.

Hosuwan’s gentle countenance draws viewers in, making her a likable and relatable presence on screen.

James Laver’s portrayal of Earl is honest and convincing, positioning him as a pivotal figure in the film.

As the wronged individual who finds himself at the center of suspicion, Laver presents a performance that exudes shades of gray, ensuring that the audience is emotionally invested.

Chananticha Chaipa, who plays the little girl June, impresses with her smart and skillful acting.

Child actors can often be hit-or-miss, but Chaipa rises to the challenge, leaving a lasting impact with her natural and convincing performance.

The Murderer: Downsides

Sadly, a glaring issue is the film’s sluggish pace, which hampers the overall viewing experience.

The slow progression of the murder mystery can be frustrating and may even lead some viewers to lose interest or become drowsy during certain parts of the film.

Regrettably, the lack of a consistently engaging pace makes the movie feel tiring for some viewers.

Image Credits: Netflix

The prolonged scenes and gradual unfolding of events will test the patience of those seeking a more fast-paced and adrenaline-pumping crime thriller.

Consequently, some audience members might find it challenging to stay fully invested in the narrative.

I found The Murderer draining, to be honest, and had to watch it at 1.5x to finish the film.

Should You Stream or Skip The Murderer?

I know I have listed so many positives but the most significant aspect of any successful murder mystery is its ability to capture your attention.

Though The Murderer has a lot of good sides to it, I feel the impact of a slow narration is too much to ignore.

If you are not into slow-paced stories, you will probably do better without this one.

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