The Clovehitch Killer (2018) Review
This movie kept being recommended to me by various people and streaming services until I decided to give in and watch it. I really wish I hadn’t because it was stupid. That being said, my review will contain a lot of spoilers so if you still want to see the movie, for some reason, then you shouldn’t read what I have to say here.
The movie starts off with a memorial ceremony for the known victims of a guy named the Clovehitch killer. Then we see a family that’s very Christian and upstanding and whatever. Super close, tight-knit, and godfearing. The son (whatever his name was) ends up in his father’s truck with a girl one night and she finds this picture of another girl tied up with a ballgag in her mouth. She thinks that it belongs to the son but he insists that it isn’t his and he isn’t into that stuff. The girl doesn’t seem to care what the truth is because a rumor starts to get spread around the school that this guy is a pervert. The guy realizes that it’s his dad’s truck so the picture has to belong to his dad. I mean, it’s kind of obvious right?
He starts snooping around the house and shed and crawl space and places he’s not supposed to go. He finds some weird bondage and fetish pictures that look borderline murderous. If that had been me in that situation, I wouldn’t have thought they were just ‘porn’ cause you could tell it was violent in nature. However, let’s just pretend this kid is sheltered and naive which I could believe because that’s how they set it up. To make him into some goody two shoes boy scout type. He kind of just ignores it or whatever, I don’t know why. His father then has a talk with him about porn and pictures and fantasies and whatever and it’s kind of awkward.
In this movie, there’s also a girl named Kassi. No one likes her cause she’s always reading the newspaper and never goes to church and is obsessed with the Clovehitch killings. The good samaritan son follows her at some point and eventually talks her into helping him learn about the Clovehitch stuff. He goes back to her grandma’s place or something, a woman who was a police officer and has case files and books all about the killings and they go through them together. It’s later that night that the son finds even more evidence that the father is the Clovehitch killer. Literally written names and photo IDs of the known victims in the crawlspace. This along with very obvious dead body photos of women tied up and whatever.
Despite all of this he just decides to do nothing about it. At all. He kind of mentions it to Kassi but not really. The whole time he’s pretending Kassi is his girlfriend, by the way, and obviously not telling his father the truth about what he’s doing with her and researching behind his back. Except, the dad finds out and takes his son on a camping trip. Then he confronts the son about all the evidence he found, blames the stuff on the kid’s uncle Rudy (who is in a wheelchair and catatonic or whatever). He says he kept the evidence one day to give to the victims or something. The son says he either needs to give it to the cops or get rid of it. Then he literally helps his dad burn ALL OF THE FREAKING EVIDENCE. I mean, seriously bro? You couldn’t have called the cops when you found it? Cause a few days pass between the point he finds it and the dad takes him “camping”.
Okay, so maybe I can understand just the tiniest bit that the son is in denial or he doesn’t want his dad to get in trouble because it’ll ruin the family or something. Maybe I can get that he completely believed that Rudy was the killer and the father was just covering for his brother because he wanted to believe it. Fine. It was obvious this guy was pretty sheltered but, it seemed because he was also a boy scout he should have known to do the right thing and call the cops. Let’s all just pretend that this is okay, what he did here because there might be psychological reasons he did it. Fine, I’m still suspending my disbelief.
Eventually, the father sends his kid off to camp and then gets his wife and other kid to go out of town and decides to kill again. The kid, who suspects his dad is the killer doesn’t actually go away to camp. He stays in town with Kassi and they follow his dad around. The more they follow this guy around the more obvious it is that he’s the killer and going to kill someone. Kassi is on the ball with this but the son is still in some super denial about it, even though the evidence is seriously mounting and no one can possibly be that stupid and that in denial.
They catch him in the act of killing a woman. He had her hogtied with a plastic bag over her head and is taking a picture of her. The son holds him at gunpoint and is all WTF dad? The dad goes on some speech about how he’s having an affair with this woman and it’s kinky but it’s okay cause his mom knows about it or whatever. Then Kassi comes in and starts to help the woman, untying her and getting the bag off of her face so she doesn’t suffocate. The father is still giving this speech about how the whole relationship is consensual. Kassi is like “You cannot believe this crap right?” showing the first shred of common sense in anyone in this movie FINALLY. She goes for the gun the dad left out on the dresser but he grabs her and slams her into a wall to knock her down. Still…even still the son just stands there with the gun doing basically nothing, believing his dad’s extra speech about how Kassi would have gotten the gun and hurt someone and no one needs to get hurt and whatever. He somehow convinces the son to GIVE HIM THE GUN which the kid does for WHATEVER reason and then immediately the dad shoots him. Turns out it’s just a BB gun. Dad tackles the son and then chokes him. Right when he’s probably about to die, Kassi gets up and smashes the dad’s head with a lamp. Kid won’t let her call the cops.
The end they make it look like the dad killed himself on a camping trip and they get rid of everything and just don’t tell anyone what really happened. The movie defies logic. There’s just a point where you can’t believe no matter how ‘good’ this kid is or how brainwashed into trusting authority he might be that he would just go along with what his father is saying. Someone who is a boy scout and Christian would have (or should have) been ready to turn in a murderer with all that evidence. Even their own father. I’m not talking about circumstantial evidence. I’m not talking about one or two shreds. I’m talking about boxes and boxes of photos, drawings, blueprints, jewelry, and photo IDs from the victims that would cement this guy as a goddamn serial killer. There’s nothing in me that can buy that this guy wouldn’t have turned his father in and barring that, Kassi wouldn’t have done something or (conversely) would have just gone along with this kid’s plan to fake his father’s death as a suicide.
This movie was very good, tense, suspenseful, and well-acted until the point that they got to the last 10–15 minutes. I will give them that. However, the behavior and motivation of these people to keep doing what they are doing escape me. No matter how Christian or upstanding or family-oriented this son was I can’t believe he’d go through all of this to not turn in a murderer when all the evidence was right in his hands. I would highly not recommend this movie unless you want to find yourself screaming at every one of the characters in it.