June 23, 2024

Lover, Stalker, Killer 2024 Movie Review

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Lover, Stalker, Killer 2024 Movie Review

    Dave Kroupa had just moved to Omaha to be near his two kids, whom he had with his ex-girlfriend Amy Flora. He was single for the first time in years and was looking for someone to have a casual relationship with. On the dating website, he met Liz Goylar, whom he dated casually for a few months. He then met Cari Farver one day when she came to his garage to have her car checked. When he came across her on the dating site a few weeks later, they went out and hit it off. She was also looking for something casual, and, given that he and Liz weren’t serious, Dave figured it would be fine to date both.

    After a few weeks, Liz encountered Cari at Dave’s apartment when she came by to pick some things up. Soon after that momentary encounter, Dave got a text from Cari saying they should move in together. When he refused, citing the whole “let’s keep it casual” thing, Cari started texting him with crude and threatening messages almost immediately. Soon that escalated to threats against Liz and evidence that she was stalking him. The Omaha police detective assigned to the case tried to catch her in the act of stalking Dave but could never find her.

    In the meantime, Cari’s mother, who lived just over the border in Iowa’s Pottawattamie County, had stopped hearing from her, and filed a missing persons report. But because she was still in contact with Doug via the threatening texts and emails, law enforcement assumed she was just in hiding.

    Soon Doug would get messages saying she was inside Liz’s house. The stalking and threats culminated in someone setting fire to Liz’s house; after that both Liz and Doug moved. A year later, when police detectives in Pottawattamie County took the case and really dug into the emails and texts, the case took a turn no one would have expected.

    Like we said above, Hobkinson stuck with a pretty straightforward presentation of the case at the center of Lover, Stalker, Killer. The only style concession was the reenactments that featured Kroupa, and those were there for a reason. Whereas in other cases, a director can fill in visuals with news footage or stills from other media coverage, much of what happened in this case took place under the media radar. So the only way to illustrate exactly what was going on, and ratchet up the tension, was do these reenactments.

    The story itself is so twisty, though, that Hobkinson really didn’t need to do much in the way of stylistic flourishes to keep it engaging. During the first third of the film, before the trio of investigators in Pottawattamie County — Kava, Jim Doty and Ryan Avis — take on the case, Hobkinson does a really good job of convincing you that Cari is the one stalking and terrorizing Kroupa, but giving you just enough in his visuals to foment doubt in the back of your mind. So when the twist is revealed, it hits you hard, even if you suspected that twist was coming.

    Once that twist is revealed, though, all you want to do is see just how the case is concluded, and what we marveled at was just how clever the Pottawattamie County investigators were when it came to getting the proof they needed to bring their person of interest to justice.

    The one thing we would have liked to have heard was a bit of self-examination from the Omaha PD detective that is interviewed, and how they seemed to miss so many details that the Pottawattamie County cops picked up on years later. But it’s a small quibble in what is otherwise an entertaining and fast-moving film.

    Lover, Stalker, Killer 2024 Movie Review