A Teenager Tries to Be Nancy Drew, With Disastrous Results: True Crime (1996)

So when I read this description online I was excited!

It totally gave me Northanger Abbey vibes as the main character is really into True Crime magazines and decides to take her armchair sleuthing to the next level and investigate the disappearance of a school friend’s sister.

I was like yes this will be a great film to watch, it will totally be a new addition to my Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans! It even has Alicia Silverstone in it, so it contains a #janeaustenbingo

But as I’m sure you all know where this is headed, I watched it and it was not good at all. My sister is more fair in rating it as she thought it was okay, but I thought it was horrible and I would most definitely never watch it again.

Mary Giordano (Alicia Silverstone) is a good Catholic girl. She lost her police officer father when he was killed in the line of duty a few years ago. Since then, her interest in crime has grown and she is obsessed with mystery books and above all the True Crime magazine.

She has been following a case of a killer targeting high school girls and when one of her classmate’s sisters is the next victim, she decides to up her involvement to investigating.

Time to get on the case!

Mary notices a creepy guy (Kevin Dillion) asking girls if they have a boyfriend and he ends up following her home and to the nearby supermarket. I was like she should let her godfather, Detective Guinn, her dad’s old partner know, but she doesn’t believe in going to the police as she can handle it all. It turns out to be a police cadet, Tony Campbell, but I’m like really?

He’s a liar!

Everything he says to her sounds like a lie. There is no way that the police force would allow a police cadet to investigate on his own, “going undercover” to pick up high school girls in order to “discover” a killer. I was like it’s him, he is the killer as he is such a creep.

It turns out he is a police cadet and investigating against orders. He teams up with Mary and as the two grow closer, he even admits he is a fraud, oops I mean afraid of heights (what is this Vertigo?). But then things get creepy again. He forces Mary to sleep with him, raping her as she wanted to leave as she unsure about being with him and he makes her continue after she changes her mind.

This cadet!

That double confirmed it for me. Campbell is a total creep and I hope he gets shot at the end by her godfather.

Unfortunately, poor Mary doesn’t tell anybody and continues to work with Tony, even though he forced her to do something she didn’t want. They continue investigating but Tony is a total creep and is like two people at times. I find it really hard he was ever able to pass a psych evaluation as from the moment we met him has had a hard time trying to pass himself off as a regular person.

You are crazy

Tony believes this one carnival worker is the killer and the two follow him and do a stakeout. They think they have caught the killer, but it turns out he is just a regular guy who likes to sleep with his girlfriend in a pipe room. I don’t know why she was into it, all I could think was it looked super unsanitary.

Eventually, her Detective Guinn (who doesn’t like the boyfriend Tony) looks into him and it turns out that Tony isn’t Tony. He stole another cadet’s identity and is, you guessed it, the serial killer all along. Yeah, I knew from the moment he was asking out high school girls at the pool.

Detective Guinn tried to take him down, but gets shot and killed by him.

Eventually it is up to Mary to save the day as Tony chases her though the carnival. Mary goes on the Ferris wheel, thinking Tony is too scared of heights that he won’t follow-but it turns out that Tony didn’t just lie about his name-he lied about everything! He climbs up there and fights with her, eventually falling to his death.

They end the film with Mary graduating high school, going the police academy, and trying to have it be like she is this amazing detective when she was actually really horrible. I’m not sure if that is the career for when she missed such huge signs. It was a horrible film and I definitely do not recommend

For more mysteries, go to A Legendary Jewel Goes Missing, A Country Manor Full Of Secretive People, Which Guest is the Thief?: The Moonstone (2016)

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