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Lifetime’s An Amish Murder Review

Written by Alexander Tucker   // 01/07/2013

An Amish Murder Review

Lifetime’s An Amish Murder Review

 

“The more I watched An Amish Murder, the more it seemed to be about introducing the characters and making them likable  than solving a mystery. I think that we all hate to be played down to, and after watching the film I was satisfied with the explosive climax, after Kate has found herself face to face with the killer and must try to survive. This may turn into a Lifetime series; many say that they would watch it because they have read the books. If the series is written as the movie was, I doubt it will succeed, however. Even though I have looked at the website and the other books in the series, I just can’t see how there would be enough to work with. There were no aha moments; nothing other than Ohio that I could personally identify with. I mean, how many people are from Ohio? How many murder mysteries could there be in an Amish town. “

 

An Amish Murder Synopsis:  Brutal murders in an Amish community are investigated by its female Chief of Police who also witnessed horrific crimes when she was a child.

 

An Amish Murder opens with Kate Burkholder jogging through the Amish countryside on a snowy winter morning. She passes farmers working in their barns, but no one acknowledges her presence. Meanwhile, T.J. is driving the squad car down a road and finds his route blocked by “Stutz’s cows, again.” He calls it in and sets flares while he walks to Stutz’s farm. He finds a girl’s shoe, and then a little farther on he finds its match. He is talking to Mona at the station as he goes; then he sees the body of a girl lying in the field. She is wearing a slip, and her dress is around her ankles.

 

If “An Amish Murder” begins cold and impersonal with an unnamed woman jogging through the silent winter countryside; it warms up quickly with the back stories told as the film progresses. Here is Rupert Nichols, the ex-marine turned backwater police officer, surprised to find there has been a murder here.  Kate Burkholder is the unlikely chief of police that the city council is afraid cannot handle a case like this; so they issue orders via the mayor and bring in a professional profiler. They have underestimated the wrong person. Once the evidence begins to sink in, Burkholder hits the ground running to find out if this murder is connected to murders committed seventeen years ago. Has the killer returned or is this a copy cat killer?

 

I must admit, that I was surprised to see C. Thomas Howell playing a sheriff after all of his recent television work. I wondered, in passing, if he was the killer. I mean he has been the bad guy so many times before.  Then I checked myself; after all that would be type casting, wouldn’t it?

 

The movie goes back and forth between the Amish people who refuse to speak directly to Kate because she left many years ago; she was once one of them. Yet they will speak to others who were never a part of their lifestyle. The language drifts between Dutch and English; time shifts to eighteen years ago and the present day. The blend of past and present; Amish and English, and the old and new, took me back to my own memories and roots in Ohio.

 

The more I watched An Amish Murder, the more it seemed to be about introducing the characters and making them likable  than solving a mystery. I think that we all hate to be played down to, and after watching the film I was satisfied with the explosive climax, after Kate has found herself face to face with the killer and must try to survive.  This may turn into a Lifetime series; many say that they would watch it because they have read the books. If the series is written as the movie was, I doubt it will succeed, however. Even though I have looked at the website and the other books in the series, I just can’t see how there would be enough to work with. How many murder mysteries could there be in an Amish town. There were no aha moments; nothing other than Ohio that I could personally identify with. I mean, how many people are from Ohio?

 

I give the acting in An Amish Murder 10s all around; the town is also a 10. Unfortunately the story line I can only give a 5 because it is simply another serial killer mystery with some profiling thrown in. It’s good enough for a Sunday Night Lifetime movie, but I am afraid it could not compete with the likes of The Mentalist, Criminal Minds, and CSI.

 

In spite of all this,  I would probably try to watch the series, were it to be done on Lifetime, because of Neve Campbell. I must admit that while the story was predictable in parts, the character development was only beginning and I would like to know more about Kate Burkholder; Mona, T.J., and “Glock” Nichols. I would like to find out if the way the town pulled together at the end has carried on in the future, and see from week to week what sort of town Painter’s Mill, Ohio turns out to be. The problem is that if it is to be a crime drama, murder mystery, or thriller/suspense, the series could fall flat.

 

 

An Amish Murder is based on the book “Sworn to Silence” by Linda Castillo. The screenplay was written by Mark Malone; the film is directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal. Executive producers are Neve Campbell, Barbara Lieberman and Poppy Montgomery.

 

An Amish Murder Cast:

Neve Campbell is Kate Burkholder

Christian Campbell is Jacob Burkholder

C. Thomas Howell is Nathan Detrick

Noam Jenkins is John Tomasetti

IronE Singleton is Rupert “Glock” Nichols

Duane Murray is Mayor Auggie Brock

Jilon Vanover is Lucas Holst

 

 

Lifetime will be airing An Amish Murder again on Monday January 7th, 2013 at 8:/7: Central and 11:02 p.m. Central; Tuesday January 8th, at 12:02 a.m. The weekend schedule for An Amish Murder is Saturday, January 12th at 10: a.m./9: Central. and Sunday, January 13th at 2:02 a.m./1:02 Central.

 

 

 

An Amish Murder Trailer

 

Follow Faye Constantino on her blog faybebay.hubpages.com or e-mail her at fayeconstantino@live.com.


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