Hate Noir

September 16, 2014 9:33 PM

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Movies don’t need villains even though the thriller genre, as seen in A Walk Among the Tombstones, makes it seem like they do. People who enjoy thrillers are so accustomed to the cat-and-mouse storytelling dynamic that they think the hero/villain dichotomy is unavoidable. It should have been avoided in A Walk Among the Tombstones, in which a pair of gay serial killers are hunted down by Liam Neeson playing Matthew Scudder, an ex-cop turned private investigator.

Ray and Albert (portrayed by David Harbour and Adam David Thompson) are not just the bad guys; they’re porn-corrupted boyfriends—evildoers and gynophobic creeps who abduct women then perform mutilations on them before killing them. This grotesque plot contrivance goes so far from what makes private ...

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