Helen Hudson (Sigourney Weaver) is an expert psychiatrist who gives speeches about serial killers and also helps catching some of them. The film begins with an event that happened to doctor Hudson right after a speech she gave, when she went to the restroom. Turns out that Daryll Lee Collum (Harry Connick Jr.) had a little surprise for the doc, and after this little incident two things happened: Collum went to prison, and Helen became agoraphobic, which led her to spend the following 13 months inside her house.
After all this time, several murders are being commited but the cops don't have much reason to link them, so they don't know for sure if it's a serial killer. Helen is keepig track of this at home, by reading the papers, and she calls the cops everytime she thinks she knows something they don't. Eventually the police officer in charge of the case will pay Helen a visit to see what she has to say; Mohanan (Holly Hunter) and her partner Reuben (Dermot Mulroney) start questioning Helen, and she ends up helping them. Helen misses men, she confessed Andy (John Rothman), a homosexual man who lives with Helen and helps her if she needs him -in case of a panic attack, for example-, and she feels something for young Reuben.
The thing is, Helen discovers the murders that are being commited are being made by the same person, and this person is emulating other serial killers' work. For example, on one of his killings he made it look exactly like one of the "Son of Sam"'s murders, and Helen, being such an expert, notices this right away; she knows they're dealing with a copycat. What they don't know, but will eventually find out, is that the copycat has his eyes on Helen, he wants her -as every other serial killer, she says-, and he lets the cops know with letters and stuff. Will this man, who commits nearly perfect murders, be able to kill the doc?
The film has a truly amazing first scene, and the ammount of suspense never decreased from that start point. Holly Hunter's character annoyed me a little bit at first, when she's very rude to doctor Helen, but then she turned out to be a rather cool little woman; she's pretty smart -and probably thinks she's smarter than everyone else- and she's very self confident, never scared and always knowing what to do; she's some kind of mentor to her partner Reuben.
I thought "Copycat" didn't get all the attention it deserved, it was a very nice film indeed. I liked the way they first kept the killer quite mysterious, not telling much about him, and as he gets closer to Helen we can see more clearly what he's doing. I think the story, while a bit impossible from some points of view, was pretty well written and I find it to be very interesting, not a dumb story that insults the audience's intelligence. I really enjoyed the scenes right before the ending, it was quite clever, I wasn't expecting what I saw, and I liked that. Also the final scene reveals something you wont be expecting at all, it's quite a shock.
The acting was pretty nice, Hunter and Weaver specially, they were quite convincing. My only complaint is that a couple of dumb things happen, dumb things as in 'too' dumb, almost as if you were expecting it to happen, things that are already known for being in every thriller made; but it didn't really bother me, and it certainly didn't do any harm to the film. I also enjoyed Harry Connick Jr.'s performance as Lee Collum, with those blue eyes and rotten teeth he seemed so evil and demented, he was great. "Copycat" is a pretty fine thriller that has been unfairly underrated for reasons that I don't know; if you have the chance to see it, do so, you wont regret.
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