Tess Atkins in A Killer Among Us (2012)

Another Murder in a Small Town

It was just another day for Alex Carleton (Tess Atkins) as she rode in the back of a cop car as her friend's father drove them to school. But it quickly changes when he returns shortly after to take Alex out of class as her mother has been murdered, execution style out side the pet store she owned and ran. As Alex, her father Nick (Tom Cavanagh) and her two younger siblings try to get to grips with their loss Detective Joe Moran (Boris Kodjoe) becomes frustrated by the lack of evidence or witnesses and so persuades Alex to help him as he has his suspicions over Nick who he discovers has been having an affair for the last two years. But as Alex starts helping and starts looking through her parent's stuff not only does she notice Nick's strange behaviour but also uncovers things which rock her world.

I read in a number of places "A Killer Among Us" was inspired by a true story, it may well be but this made for TV movie feels more fiction than fact. And the trouble stems from two things starting with what is the movie's USP as the detective unofficially ropes in the murder victim's seventeen year-old daughter to snoop on her own father. It comes across in the movie as incredibly far fetched although being unbelievable kind of fits in with a movie which shifts tone all the time with scenes which try to go from drama to uplifting of sorts. It also tries for depth as Alex ends up becoming mum to her siblings which causes boyfriend issues but that is in truth just a minor distraction.

Boris Kodjoe in A Killer Among Us (2012)

The second thing is the cliche and I suppose I should say spoiler alert in case anyone wants to watch "A Killer Among Us" without knowing some thing which happens. So Alex has agreed to snoop on her father and whilst going through papers discovers a birth certificate which too her surprise shows that Nick isn't her biological father and as it turns out her mum had been married before and was thinking about returning to her previous husband. Maybe that happened in the true story this was inspired by but it comes across as far fetched as everything else in the movie.

But there is a third thing which causes problems in "A Killer Among Us" as it feels like everyone in this movie was given a quick coaching lesson in the art of.... pausing mid sentence. Tess Atkins, Tom Cavanagh as well as Boris Kodjoe all pause far too often and sadly when Kodjoe does it there is a knock on effect of him seeming to strike a pose as if he is saying subliminally "I know, I look damn good".

What this all boils down to is that whilst "A Killer Among Us" might be based on a true story the final product ends up purely a routine made for TV crime story with many of the flaws which are typical of this type of movie. For me it was all a bit too far fetched to work and the constant pausing mid sentence really started to get on my nerves.