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Film Review: The Craig’s List Killer (2011)


When Megan met Philip Markoff she couldn’t have been happier. He was a charming, caring, likeable medical student who had his whole future planned out. After only a few months of dating the couple becomes engaged and it seems that Megan is going to get the happy ending she always wanted complete with the white picket fence. Unfortunately there is a side to Philip that she doesn’t know about. A twisted, perverted, deadly side as he spends his free time hooking up with women that he finds on Craig’s List and stealing from them (among other things). As Philip’s attacks on women become more and more violent the police become involved and it looks as though Megan’s life is about to change forever.


 I had heard of the Craig’s List Killer but I wasn’t that familiar with him. I didn’t really know anything about him other than what I’d heard on the news, and even then didn’t have a whole lot of information on him other than he found his victim’s on the Craig’s List site. Of late I have become totally and completely addicted to the Investigation Discovery (ID) Channel and have started to get into shows that this network airs about true crime such as “Deadly Women,” “Wicked Attraction,” “Twisted” and tons of others. “The Craig’s List Killer” is based on an actual case of course, and with my newfound interest in shows and movies being based on actual crimes I really found myself digging this movie.

I was a little worried that I wouldn’t like it at first considering the fact that it was a Lifetime movie. Most of the time when I think of Lifetime movies I automatically think of really bad ones starring Patty Duke, Kelly Martin, or even Gerald McRaney. Thankfully none of those people showed up in this movie and it was a lot better than most Lifetime movies I have seen. It had a strong cast, an interesting story, and exceeded any expectations that I had for it. I found myself really into it fairly early on and I had a great time watching it.

I think that the best thing about the movie was the cast. Jake Dorman is excellent in the role of Phillip. He does a great job playing an ambitious, hard-working guy who has his career goals all in order and has other aspects of his life completely figured out. He comes off as such a nice, charming guy that you can’t help but like him. It’s just too bad that he is a complete and total nut job who gets off on assaulting (and eventually killing) women. Dorman does a good job of showing both sides to Philip (the likeable, caring one and the cold and deranged one) and I think that he completely nails the character. Agnes Bruckner is also top-notch as Philip’s love interest Megan. I think that some people may find her to be a little naïve but as the old saying goes “love is blind” and I think that she was so in love with Philip that she would have never in a million years suspected him of doing the things that he did. She thought that she knew him and I can honestly say that if I was an acquaintance of Philip’s I probably never would have suspected anything either. Then again, it usually is the people that you least suspect that end up doing things such as this.

I also liked the fact that the filmmakers get right to the point and the pacing of the movie is pretty fast. Since this is based on a true story I am sure that there is a ton of other things that they could have included in the movie, but they had the hindsight to leave things out that weren’t so important to the overall story. I think that this is one mistake a lot of filmmakers make when they make a movie about a true life event (“Dahmer” and Gacey” come to mind immediately for me) and I was glad that the guys behind “The Craig’s List Killer” didn’t do this.

I thought that it was a pretty damn good movie. I enjoyed watching the relationship between Philip and Megan evolve (did he really love her and care about her? I think so) and couldn’t help but feel bad for both of them once the truth about Philip was revealed. I especially felt for her as she did nothing wrong but at the same time a part of me felt a little sorry for him as well as he obviously had a serious mental problem and wasn’t fully in control of his actions. I thought that the last scene was incredibly depressing and I just hope that the real Megan was able to some how get over everything that happened to her and get on with her life. If watching movies based on actual events is your thing (or even if it isn’t) then I recommend you check out this movie as I certainly dug it.

About Todd Martin

Todd Martin grew up in Irvington, a small town in Kentucky. Thanks to his mother, father, and favorite uncle he started watching horror films at a very young age and has been a horror geek ever since. He is basically a walking encyclopedia of horror flicks (especially the 80’s slashers), comic books, and pro wrestling, and has been writing for the biggest majority of his life.

His first book, Nightmare Tales was published in 2006 and he has had several short stories published in several collections. He and his wife Trish published their book “The Gardener,” a horror novel that is a throwback to the slasher films of the 80’s in 2011 and he is working on a collection of short horror stories When he isn’t reviewing movies and books or doing interviews for Horrornews.net he has been known to act from time to time as he has appeared in a handful of low budget horror films. He also enjoys writing screenplays and enjoys making movies as well. He wrote the segment “Angel” which appeared in the 2004 film “Tales from the Grave 2: Happy Holidays!” which was produced and directed by Stephanie Beaton, and recently appeared in Tim Ritter’s film “Deadly Dares: Truth or Dare 4.”. He resides in Kentucky with his wife Trish, their cat Buffy, and their wiener dog, Cujo

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