Synopsis: The savage murders of three young children sparks a controversial trial of three teenagers accused of killing the kids as part of a satanic ritual.
Release Date: TBA 2014
Thoughts: Aside from a Broadway musical, I’m not sure if any visual art hasn’t taken a stab at the crime saga surrounding the West Memphis Three. After the three landmark Paradise Lost documentaries and one recent feature documentary (West of Memphis) the story has now been adapted into a film starring two Oscar winners under the direction of an Oscar nominated director. So why doesn’t the first trailer for the big screen treatment of Mara Leveritt’s well-researched investigative novel land better?
For me, it’s because I feel it’s all been done before using the real life players that have been involved in the tragedy. We’ve seen the faces of the murdered children and the three young boys that were targeted as their killers. We’ve followed their families, seen the pain of loss, and the gnawing feeling that the real person or persons responsible remain unpunished. Can good actors like Reese Witherspoon (This Means War, Mud) and Colin Firth (Arthur Newman) get across that same emotion?
Originally positioned as an awards contender, after some early screenings the buzz is considerably lower and who knows how large of a release this will even get. That’s too bad because this has a fantastic cast…however I think they’re simply stuck in a re-telling of events we’re familiar with.