GFF Review: The Execution

There’s something intrinsically fascinating about serial killers which drives people to fixate on them, read magazines and books about their killing sprees and become obsessed with getting inside their heads. It’s not so much the fact they’re inherently evil or corrupted, but more their ability to get away with it for so long that seems to draw people in. This preoccupation has produced two of the best films of the twenty-first century: Zodiac and Memories of Murder. The Execution is another stellar example of an immersive period crime drama.

1991, in the final days of the USSR. When a woman is found barely alive, with all the injuries consistent with the methods of a serial killer who has supposedly been in jail for years, the police have a problem. Especially, Detective Issa Davydov (Nikoloz Tavadze) who was the lead investigator on the case. Working alongside Ivan Sevastyanov (Evgeniy Tkachuk), we track their progress across multiple timelines, following their journey as the hunt down the murderer.

The Execution is epic in scope and brings to mind the work David Fincher did on the TV series Mindhunter. The non-linear narrative can be difficult to follow at times but it allows director Lado Kvataniya to build up a picture of the investigation with the benefit of hindsight. This affords the story multiple levels and allows much greater depth. Making The Execution not only riveting from start to finish but also a film you’ll want to watch again.

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