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Non-Review Review: A Walk Among the Tombstones

A Walk Among the Tombstones is an oddly nostalgic serial killer film.

The movie is an adaptation of Lawrence Block’s novel of the same name. Block originally published A Walk Among the Tombstones in 1992, around the time that pop culture’s fascination with serial killers was building to a crescendo. Thomas Harris had released Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs to universal acclaim. Jonathan Demme’s film adaptation of The Silence of the Lambs had managed to sweep the Oscars, despite the handicap of a February 1991 release.

Dead letters...

Dead letters…

Scott Frank’s feature film adaptation moves the action forward to 1999, towards the tail end of pop culture’s interest in serial killers. Morgan Freeman’s career in serial killer films offers perhaps the best illustration of the state of the genre. By this point, Freeman had already moved on from 1995’s stylish se7en towards 1997’s efficient Kiss the Girls and was on the cusp of 2001’s unnecessary Along Came a Spider. The serial killer’s stock was falling, and the serial killer would soon be replaced by another bogeyman.

This shift in the story’s setting makes it feel like A Walk Among the Tombstones is a funeral ode towards the serial killer.

Lives are on the line...

Lives are on the line…

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