‘Mindcage’ is a Copycat Horror Film About a Copycat Serial Killer

A murder mystery that repeats the plot of a 1991 horror film


“Mindcage” tells the story of catching a murderer by getting help from another murderer.
Rating: C-
Art Credit:Lionsgate

Emmanuel Miranda, Staff Writer

Set in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Mary Kelly (Melissa Roxburgh) is an amateur detective who always gets looked down upon by her peers. Jake Doyle (Martin Lawrence) is a detective who has been branded a hero for putting the murderer, The Artist (John Malkovich) in jail. One day, a decorated corpse mimicking The Artist’s technique appears inside of a church. This intrigues Jake, making him head to the crime scene. When he gets there, Mary is already viewing the crime scene. After discussing how to catch the copycat, Mary and Jake decide they need to get help from The Artist himself.

Being labeled as an original story made by Mauro Borrelli, this film brings up interesting topics of mystery and justice. Even though Mary is portrayed as the supposed rookie who doesn’t know what she’s getting herself into, she ends up doing more of the work compared to Jake.

Although it is stated to be an “original story,” the plot is far too identical to “The Silence of the Lambs,” directed by Jonathan Demme. The basis of both films is to catch a murderer by getting help from another murderer. Even though the trailer suggested there would be a lot of suspense and shocking events, the actual movie isn’t really that suspenseful or shocking if you’re used to quality murder mystery/horror movies. The horror elements that actually appear include the tiny jumpscares from the homeless person stalking Mary and when the camera shows the victims of the murders actually being “operated” on by the copycat. 

Just like almost every other murder mystery film, there are clues that are given to the viewer as the story goes on so that the viewer might solve the mystery before the movie ends. The clues started appearing after the police reported and found the second body. As a person who isn’t really into the murder mystery genre of films, I have to admit it was pretty easy to figure out who the killer was around the first 30 minutes of the movie.

This movie isn’t really a good murder mystery. The concept of catching a murderer by getting the help of another murderer wasn’t really something new to the genre. Save your time and check out “The Silence of the Lambs” or one of the many late 1990, early 2000, films that do this storyline better.