A security guard makes a hobby out of visiting locations associated
with serial killers as a way to quell the darkness within himself.
Dark Tourist (2012)
Directed by Suri Krishnamma
Written by Frank John Hughes
Starring Michael Cudlitz, Melanie Griffith,
Pruitt Taylor Vince, Suzanne Quast, Nayo Wallace
Dark Tourist is barely a movie. It has no story, no conflict, or even any interesting characters. Any time it comes close to providing any of these things, the movie takes a hard left and continues down its straight, narrow path of nothingness. Michael Cudlitz plays a protagonist who is not only unrelatable, but repugnant in the way he acts around other people. In the end, it's revealed that he's a sociopath with a serious dark side, but he's still supposed to be somewhat relatable. The film glamorizes serial killings and the circumstances that create serial killers, and makes almost no attempt to make the audience believe otherwise. At the very least, it's concerning.
Cudlitz plays Jim, a security guard who likes to visit places associated with serial killers. He acts as our narrator as well, and really ups the creep factor almost every time he's by himself. While on one of his excursions, he meets a pleasant waitress named Betsy (Melanie Griffith) who tries to spark a relationship. Betsy is easily the most interesting character in the film, but she's ignored in favor of an uncomfortable sex scene and an additional slap in the face for good measure towards the film's end. What bothers me the most is the serious lack of buildup. The movie's big twist comes out of nowhere and gives the audience zero closure. Hell, if anything, the end is where the film finally gets interesting as opposed to watching an a**hole meander around California.
This film had an interesting concept that was poorly executed. It never tries to be anything more than a bad short story and ,aside from the decent performances, it has nothing worth going back for. It goes out of its way to make the audience feel uncomfortable or dirty, which is never a good way to attempt an emotional investment. Films like Dark Tourist are all over the bargain bins of the internet, and you never have to look very far to find one.