The Crucifix Killer
FBI agent Jack Verdon (ay Liotta - La Linea - The Line) is stunned when he hears a former lover of his has been murdered and knows he will be a suspect when he attends the crime scene as he realises it was where he had last made love to her. But it turns out it is just the first in a series of murders as more women turn up dead and Jack quickly realises, to his horror, he has a connection to all of them which when those in charge of investigating the murders discover his connection puts him under even more suspicion.
Don't tell us what is going on. It is a simple rule but quite an important one when it comes to making an effective thriller and it is what they get wrong in "The River Murders". Before the first 30 minutes of "The River Murders" is up we know that anyone who dated Jack could end up dead with several already found murdered, he is chief suspect for Agent Vuckovitch who wants to rattle his cage, but more significantly we meet the guy doing the killing and the very specific things he does. The only mysteries left in "The River Murders" are what is the guy's name, why is he targeting Jack's former lovers and why does he have a very sick body mutilation style calling card. And as such "The River Murders" turns in to a bit of a procession till we get to the inevitable danger when it comes to those who Jack is still close to become next on the killer's list.
What "The River Murders" has going in its favour is really two things starting with the unsettling, dark atmosphere of the scenes where the killer has his victim ready to kill. The other is the calibre of the cast and the trio of Ray Liotta, Christian Slater and Ving Rhames certainly bring character to their parts with Slater delivering that old school in your face, sarcasm which he use to deliver so well early on in his career. But as I said this movie makes the fatal mistake of telling the audience too much to soon which whilst giving the movie a mystery it robs it of another.
What this all boils down to is that "The River Murders" is just a middle of the road thriller which whilst worth watching is nothing special and ends up lacking all the mystery it needed to be truly gripping.