Copycat (film)

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Copycat ver1.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJon Amiel
Produced byArnon Milchan
Mark Tarlov
Written byAnn Biderman
David Madsen
Music byChristopher Young
CinematographyLászló Kovács
Edited byJim Clark
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
October 27, 1995
Running time
123 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$20 million
Box office$32 million[1]

Copycat is a 1995 American psychological thriller directed by Jon Amiel and starring Sigourney Weaver, Holly Hunter and Dermot Mulroney. The score was composed by Christopher Young.


After giving a guest lecture on criminal psychology at a local university, Dr. Helen Hudson, a respected field expert on serial killers, is cornered in the restroom of the lecture hall by one of her previous subjects, Daryll Lee Cullum, who kills a police officer and brutally attacks her. Helen becomes severely agoraphobic as a result, sealing herself inside an expensive hi-tech apartment, conducting her entire life from behind a computer screen and assisted by a friend, Andy.

When a new series of murders spreads fear and panic across her home city of San Francisco, Inspector M.J. Monahan and her partner Reuben Goetz solicit Helen's expertise. Initially reluctant, Helen soon finds herself drawn into the warped perpetrator's game of wits; as the murders continue, Helen realizes that the elusive assailant draws inspiration from notorious serial killers, including Albert DeSalvo, The Hillside Strangler, David Berkowitz, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Ted Bundy. When the murderer begins contacting and even stalking Helen, she and M.J. realize that he is after them, and they enlist the aid of Cullum, who tells them what he knows about the killer.

Helen soon realizes that the Copycat Killer has been following the list of serial killers in the same order as she had presented them in her lecture at the university on the night of her attack, and the two work to figure out where and when he will strike next. Reuben is held hostage by a Chinese, who kills him in an unrelated shooting incident at the police station, leaving M.J. – now questioning herself after her targeting of the Chinese’s Brachial nerve failed when he got up and shot Reuben in the back – to continue the search for the serial killer alone.

After Andy is killed in a manner reminiscent of Jeffrey Dahmer, M.J. deduces the killer to be Peter Foley. After leading a failed attempt to catch Foley at his house, M.J. discovers that he has kidnapped Helen and taken her back to the scene of Daryll Lee's attempt at killing her – the restroom of the lecture hall. Once she gets there, M.J. finds Helen bound, hanged and gagged in the same manner that Cullum did before, but she is ambushed and shot by Foley, rendering her unconscious. As Foley prepares to kill M.J., Helen desperately attempts to save her by ruining Foley's carefully replicated crime scene the only way she can – by attempting to hang herself. Foley panics and cuts Helen down, and Helen is able to get away and escape to the building's roof, her agoraphobia kicks in again, and Helen finds herself cornered. Accepting her fate, she turns to face Foley. However, just as he is about to kill her, M.J. shoots him in the Brachial nerve, giving him one last chance to surrender. When he pulls his gun back on her, however, she shoots him until she kills him with a headshot.

Some time later, Daryll Lee writes a letter to another serial killer, instructing him on how to kill Helen, and revealing that he had been aiding Foley all along. Daryll wishes "happy huntin', partner" to his new proxy in the mission of killing Helen.



The film received positive reviews from critics, it holds a 78% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 37 reviews, with an average rating of 6.7/10.[2]

Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale.[3]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times awarded it three-and-a-half stars out of a possible four, and a thumbs up on Siskel & Ebert, citing Holly Hunter's character as "one of the most intriguing and three-dimensional characters of the year".[4]

The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:


Copycat: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedOctober 27, 1995
GenreFilm music, soundtrack
LabelMilan Records

All tracks composed by Christopher Young, unless otherwise noted.

  1. "Get Up to This” by New World Beat
  2. "Carabu Party” by Steven Ray
  3. "Techno Boy” by Silkski (Jerome Evans)
  4. "Main Title from Copycat"
  5. "Stick Him or Shoot Him"
  6. "Housebound"
  7. "Silent Screams"
  8. "Murder's an Art"
  9. "In Darkness"
  10. "Take a Life"
  11. "Next to the Devil"
  12. "Pastoral Horror"
  13. "Silhouette"
  14. "Gallows"
  15. "Butchers and Bakers"
  16. "Panic"
  17. "Who's Afraid"
  18. "Lay Me Down"
  19. "The Barber of Seville: Largo al factotum" by Roberto Servile/Failoni Chamber Orchestra/Will Humburg
  20. "Tosca: Vissi D'arte" by Gabriela Beňačková/The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Bohumil Gregor
  21. "Requiem (Fauré): In Paradisum, Requiem Op. 48" (choral work)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Copycat at Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 2010-09-29.
  2. ^ "Copycat (1995)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  3. ^ "CinemaScore".
  4. ^ "Copycat". Chicago Sun-Times.
  5. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-20.

External links[edit]