Devil’s Knot (2013) had a nice story line, and it shows how quickly something can happen to your child in a safe neighborhood. The movie is based on a true story from Mara Levitt’s book, Devil’s Knot. Director Atom Egoyan (The Captive, Chloe, Adoration) did not do a good job executing this movie to the best of his abilities. He has directed 36 previous movies, so I was disappointed in his directing skills for Devil’s Knot. Atom tried to fit too many things in a small time frame and made the story feel scattered.
The movie is about three eight year old boys that went playing together and never came home in West Memphis, Arkansas in May of 1993. The boys were reported missing, and an extensive search for them took place. Their bodies were eventually found in a fishing area known as the Devils Knot. The boys appeared to be beaten and bounded by a shoelace or string of some sort. The manager of a fast food restaurant calls the cops to report a man with blood all over his body that has come into the restaurant to use the bathroom. The police officers arrived too late and did not bother to investigate who the bloody guy was.
The three young dead boys made headlines about satanic cults and ritual killings since they were bounded. The police officers were hellbent on the killers being the Satan worshipping (this is what the police officers think them to be) teenagers who have been annoying them exceedingly. The three teenagers were accused of the death of the three young boys. The victim’s families questioned and disagreed a little with the three teenagers being involved with this horrific crime. One of the teenagers confessed to the crime after four hours of interrogation, and all three of them claimed that they are innocent during the trial. Jason Baldwin (Seth Meriwether - The Duff, Trouble with the Curve) and Jessie Misskelley Jr. (Kristopher Higgins - In Time, Rooks and Pawns, Blue Balloons) were sentenced to life in prison while Damien Echols (James Hamrick - In Your Father’s Shadow, The Newsroom, Dive) faced the death penalty.
Reese Witherspoon did a superb job playing a hard working mother and wife. Although I like the storyline and the fact that this movie was based on a real-life tragedy, - I gave the movie a five because it was too scattered, too many unanswered questions, slowed placed with interviews that were not needed. I did not give this movie a lower score because it shows us what takes place in our society today with police officers and higher officials who looks for a quick fix for a case. The actual killer is out there because an innocent person is accused wrongfully. There was no hard evidence that the kids committed the crime, and the real evidence (bloody guy in the restaurant) got away due to police misconduct.
The documentaries on YouTube are way better than this film.
William Ramsey: Abomination - West Memphis Three Satanic Murder Travesty
Terry Hobbs Confesses to Family about 1993 Murders
Former Death Row Damien Echols - “Life After Death”
About Devil's Knot (2013)
Starring: Elias Koteas, Stephen Moyer, Gary Grubbs, Kevin Durand, Jody Thompson, Judd Lormand, Kerry Cahill, Reese Witherspoon, Gary Weeks, Wilbur Fitzgerald, Scott Ledbetter, Bruce Greenwood, Alessandro Nivola, Ken Melde, Frederick Carpenter, Rex Linn, Andrew R. Kaplan, Michael J. Walker, Ron Clinton Smith, Mary Ellen Itson, Katie Kneeland, Becky Boyd, Michael Gladis, Joe Berlinger, Martin Henderson, Seth Meriwether, Matt Letscher, Brian Howe, Robert Baker, Mike Pniewski
Director: Atom Egoyan