Devil’s Knot is the fifth film now that’s been made about the true story of the West Memphis Three. What sets this tale about the infamous 1993 murders apart, however, is its well-known cast, led by Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth. A dramatization of the true-crime book Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three by Mara Leveritt, the movie, from Canadian director Atom Egoyan (Chloe, The Sweet Hereafter), will focus on the three teens accused of brutally slaying three eight-year old boys in Memphis, Arkansas.
According to the official plot synopsis, Devil’s Knot will explore “the lives of deeply misunderstood outsiders, their families and communities, and their darkest fantasies.” Over the weekend, a new trailer for the film arrived and we have it below for your viewing pleasure.
Those suffering from True Detective withdrawal may find comfort in Devil’s Knot, a harrowing and compelling mystery set against the backdrop of the American south, with hints of religion and conspiracy peppered in. Judging by the mixed reactions that the film received at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival (and the obnoxious “this movie is so powerful” music at the end of the trailer) though, it probably won’t be able to match that HBO drama’s gritty emotional pathos.
Witherspoon will likely give a fine performance in the role of the mother of one of the boys who was killed, and Firth is biting into the juicy role of a private investigator who’s not convinced that the West Memphis Three are responsible for the crime. Aside from those two though, I don’t think there’s much to look forward to here.
We’ll find out whether Egoyan has anything new to add to this well-documented American tragedy when Devil’s Knot arrives in theaters on May 9th.