Black Butterfly (2017 film)
Black Butterfly is a 2017 American thriller film directed by Brian Goodman and written by Marc Frydman and Justin Stanley. The film stars Antonio Banderas, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Piper Perabo, Abel Ferrara, Vincent Riotta and Nathalie Rapti Gomez. It was released on May 26, 2017, by Lionsgate Premiere. and is based on a 2008 french movie for television, Papillon Noir, directed by Christian Faure
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Brian Goodman|
|Music by||Federico Jusid|
|Cinematography||José David Montero|
|Distributed by||Lionsgate Premiere|
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Paul Lopez (Antonio Banderas) is an alcoholic screenwriter suffering from writer's block. His realtor, Laura, (Piper Perabo) arrives with a couple, the Owens, to show them Paul's house, as it is for sale because of Paul's financial difficulties. Before leaving to go hunting, Paul asks Laura to meet later. On the way to the diner, Paul receives a phone call advising his script cannot be submitted in its current form. and, out of frustration, Paul gets into an altercation with a truck driver who won't let him give him a pass in traffic.
When Paul later meets Laura at a diner, the news is broadcasting the story of the "Roadside Killer". During their meeting, Laura tells him the Owens are not interested in the house. She is interested in his work as a writer but he confides he has not written in a long time and asks about her work as a realtor. She confesses he is her first "victim". Before she leaves for another appointment, they make a dinner date. Meanwhile, the truck driver from Paul's earlier encounter has entered the restaurant. Upset about a friend who was killed after being driven off a road, the driver threatens Paul before attacking him, but is stopped before being thrown out of the diner by Jack, another patron (Jonathan Rhys Myers).
Back on the road, Paul spots Jack hitchhiking and picks him up, inviting him to stay the night in his guestroom. One day Paul explains his phone connection is out from a storm and there is no internet access at his house, he then tells Jack his history as a writer. Jack asks to read one of Paul's scripts and Paul gives him an unsold script called Under the Clock. Paul notices Jack's tattoo while he is swimming in an artificial pond near the house and Jack explains that it is a prison tattoo of a black butterfly, which is very rare and very hard to catch. Jack convinces Paul to quit drinking alcohol and write a script based on Paul's real life as a briefly successful writer who has become a reclusive alcoholic.
Jack later reads the first draft without Paul's consent and, unsatisfied, throws it into the fire, proposing a more elaborate background story for the character of "Jack" as a person working in collusion with the truck driver. That night Jack sneaks into Paul's room and puts a knife to his throat to show him that, unlike the girl pleading with her attacker in his script, in reality the victim does not speak a word in such a situation. While Jack is chopping wood the next morning, Paul looks through old newspaper clippings and evidence he has collected about young women's disappearances but quickly hides it again when Jack walks in. Later while working on the script, Paul hears a gunshot including a woman's scream and goes outside to investigate but Jack indicates that it was a bird screeching due to the gunshot.
When a delivery man arrives with some goods from Pat's general store, Jack points a loaded shotgun at Paul and tells him not to walk too far. Once Paul gets rid of the delivery man, he argues with Jack about his twisted conduct. Attempting to leave. Paul ends up punching Jack but is wrestled to the ground and taken prisoner in his own home by Jack, who explains that he is paranoid since he just got out of prison and never wants to go back. That night Paul sneaks out for drink but is stopped by Jack who then forces him to smash all the bottles against the wall, insisting that he is helping him. Paul takes a drink from the last bottle before smashing it. Later in the night, Paul has difficulties writing due to Jack terrorizing him.
Laura later arrives on a foggy morning asking why Paul hasn't answered her calls for days. At that moment, Paul rushes to her and tells her to give him the keys to her car so that they can escape Jack. Halfway down the road to his house, Jack walks out in front of them and shoots at the car with a rifle. Jack then forces them to push the car into the water and come back to the house. Soon a sheriff arrives looking for a missing girl who was supposed to have been delivering a package. Paul says that he hasn't seen the girl but attempts to scream out a message, causing Jack to run out and shoot the sheriff at point blank. Paul locks him out of the house and barricades the windows to protect himself and Laura. When Jack pretends to drive the sheriff's car away, they attempt to run through the woods to catch the half-hourly train but Laura trips over a log and Jack catches them.
That night Jack insists that Paul has not been loyal to their agreement. Laura, surprisingly, stabs Jack in the back with a pair of sewing scissors she has found upstairs while Paul grabs the rifle but Jack says he is not brave enough to shoot and wrestles the rifle back from him, then takes Laura into the study and ties Paul to a chair using duct tape. Paul breaks a picture off the wall and uses the broken glass to cut himself free from the chair, grab the rifle and enters the study. Finding Laura being threatened, he explains to Jack that he understands what it is like to "kill" and believes Jack has been sent by God as providence so that Paul will kill him and blame the killings on the Roadside Killer on him. Paul puts on a pair of rubber gloves and shoots at Jack but finds out the bullets have been replaced with blanks and Jack grabs the rifle from Paul and knocks him unconscious.
Paul wakes up in the morning and finds a group of FBI agents searching his house and sees the sheriff, who is uninjured. Paul also encounters the truck driver from the diner, Laura, and Jack, all wearing FBI badges. Jack explains that they have been "tracking" him for three years and plays a recording of Paul's explanation of what it is like to kill from the previous night. Paul complains that any evidence collected from his house is tainted because Jack and Laura had access to the house and could have planted it and that the tape recording is just his notes for a screenplay. Jack fears that they do not have enough evidence for a conviction when he notices an excavator with dirt on it. Looking through Paul's possessions, he finds a picture of Paul's wife in a yard that shows no artificial pond. Paul is impressed and attempts to make a deal with him to avoid the death penalty and have an ending living with the pain but Jack prefers "his own ending". The film ends with Paul waking up from what appeared to be a dream that happened to be the events of the film, and quickly attempts to type out the dream as a new script entitled Black Butterfly.
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 42% based on 19 reviews with an average rating of 4.9/10. At Metacritic, the film has an average score of 43 out of 100 based on 7 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
- Dave McNary (April 14, 2016). "Antonio Banderas, Jonathan Rhys Meyers Starring in 'Black Butterfly'". Variety.com. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
- Yoselin Acevedo (March 22, 2017). "Black Butterfly Trailer: Antonio Banderas Is Pushed to the Limit". IndieWire. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
- "Black Butterfly". 28 April 2008 – via www.imdb.com.
- "The Tense Tale of 'Black Butterfly' Almost Twists Itself Apart". 1 June 2017.
- "Black Butterfly (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
- "Black Butterfly Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 9, 2017.