Many films, such as horror or action, focus on finding a killer. A lot of movies see police or even standard citizens hunt for the person who took the life of another. However, few features seem to adopt the whodunnit genre, which is always an interesting way to tell a murderous tale. 

Knives Out (2019) adopts a narrative that is clever, intriguing, and shocking, and allows audiences to piece together the clues left behind by the characters. 

The film follows the story of a wealthy man whose family (and a couple friends) seem to be snapping at his heels for his money. Arguments occur, words are hissed, and on the night of a glamorous party, Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), is murdered. 

Despite it looking like the murder has already been solved, Marta (Ana de Armas), Harlan’s carer, knows there is something else going on, and when Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) shows up to investigate Harlan’s death, it is clear that whoever is in the spotlight, has been framed. 

Harlan on the night of his death / Picture Credit: MRC
Harlan on the night of his death / Picture Credit: MRC

Joining Armas and Craig in this thrilling story, are Chris Evans (Avengers Assemble), Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween), Toni Collette (Hereditary), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises), and Jaeden Martell (IT: Chapter 2). 

As soon as Blanc shows up, the race is on to find out exactly who killed Harlan; the thing is, everyone who was there on the night of his death has a motive. 

While many films focus on catching a killer, Knives Out delves deeper into this notion and utilises the wonders of the whodunit genre. To tell a story through many characters, different points of view, and within very few locations is something to admire. 

The main setting for this feature is stunning; a towering, old building seemingly in the middle of nowhere is the perfect place for this type of film. It is almost shrouded in mystery, just as the feature itself, which only adds to the brilliant narrative and cast. 

Knives Out is told primarily through the eyes of Marta, who believes herself to be the murderer for some time as it seems she mixed up Harlan’s medication... but was she the one to give him the wrong dose? 

The way the truth unfolds is a joy to watch, as Marta works with Blanc to uncover the truth while believing herself to be an accidental killer. 

Benoit Blanc on the case of Harlan's death / Picture Credit: MRC
Benoit Blanc on the case of Harlan's death / Picture Credit: MRC

Every member of the Thrombey family seems to have something to hide, and are all suspect of wanting to take Harlan’s fortune after he passed away, but it seems somebody couldn’t wait to get their hands on his assets. 

Knives Out excels at placing the blame on pretty much every character, without it being convoluted or being too typical. Throughout the film, your suspicions shift from one character to another, while following Marta’s innocence. 

The atmosphere of this movie is stellar, to say the least. The momentum for finding the real killer is ever-moving, and does not stop for a single moment; there is always something for audiences to grab onto, whether that be a clue seen by a character, or simply a gut feeling that they know who did it. 

The movie really does challenge you, in the best and most entertaining way, to use your detective skills to piece together the real story before Detective Blanc can. There is so much to unpack by the ending of the movie, and as the real killer is unveiled, so is Harlan’s Will... 

Chris Evans in Knives Out / Picture Credit: MRC
Chris Evans in Knives Out / Picture Credit: MRC

The plot, combined with a fantastic cast and amazing setting, creates the perfect atmosphere for a murder mystery. Everything fits into its own, specific place, even the overcast weather plays a role in throwing doubt on the greedy Thrombey family. 

Each character has a decently-flushed out motive for the death of Harlan, especially his own family. They simply want his money; and while Blanc interviews everyone who was there, the real killer managed to slip through the cracks. 

However, one question remains: who hired Blanc? 

Knives Out is a perfectly-paced, deeply interesting feature with plenty to give. The main location does wonders for the story, the way every character is a suspect is genius, and the explanation at the end as to who murdered Harlan is perfect; a brilliant whodunit story. 

Watch the trailer for Knives Out below:

Written by Melissa, who you can follow on Twitter @melissajournal

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