Devil's Knot (film)
Devil's Knot is a 2013 American biographical crime drama film directed by Atom Egoyan. Adopted from Mara Leveritt's 2002 book of the same name, the film is about the true story of three murdered children, and the three teenagers known as the West Memphis Three who were convicted of killing them, during the Satanic ritual abuse panic. The teenagers were subsequently sentenced to death (Echols) and life imprisonment (Baldwin and Misskelley), before all were released after eighteen years. Produced by Elizabeth Fowler, Richard Saperstein, Clark Peterson, Christopher Woodrow, and Paul Harris Boardman, the film stars Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon, Mireille Enos, Dane DeHaan, Kevin Durand, Bruce Greenwood, Stephen Moyer, Elias Koteas, Amy Ryan, and Alessandro Nivola.
|Directed by||Atom Egoyan|
|Based on||Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three|
by Mara Leveritt
|Music by||Mychael Danna|
|Edited by||Susan Shipton|
|Distributed by||Image Entertainment|
|Box office||$2 million|
The film premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival on September 8. It had a limited release in Canadian theaters on January 24, 2014, and was released in U.S. theaters and video on demand services on May 9, 2014.
In 1993, in the working class, deeply religious community of West Memphis, Arkansas, three eight-year-old boys – Stevie Branch, Christopher Byers, and Michael Moore – go missing from their neighborhood. After an extensive search, their bound and beaten bodies are found the next day. The community and the police department are convinced that the murders are the work of a satanic cult, due to the violent and sexual natures of the crime. A month later, three teenagers – Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley Jr. – are arrested after Misskelley confesses to the murders following 12 hours of interrogation. They are taken to trial, where Baldwin and Misskelley are sentenced to life in prison, and Echols to death, all the while proclaiming their innocence.
During the trial, the defense team's investigator, Ron Lax, uncovers evidence suggesting that the police mishandled and suppressed evidence in the case. This evidence includes blood evidence that was lost, a sighting of a never-identified man covered in blood and mud entering a restaurant near the site of the murders on the night the boys were killed, as well as a confession to the murders by a man named Chris Morgan, which may or may not have been coerced. The prosecution's two chief witnesses - a boy who claims in fantastic detail to have seen the murders and been forced to drink the victims' blood, and his mother, who claims to have heard Echolls confess - are found to be compromised. Meanwhile, Pam Hobbs, Stevie's mother, begins to suspect that her husband (and Stevie's stepfather) Terry killed the boy, especially after finding Stevie's prized Swiss Army knife in Terry's toolkit. Lax visits Pam, who expresses doubt about the verdict; Lax replies that, while he does not know who committed the murders, he knows in his heart that his clients are innocent. Soon afterward, Pam leaves her husband.
A series of title cards describe the aftermath of the trial: In August 2011, after nearly 20 years in prison, Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley were given a new trial and released after entering an Alford plea, under which they remain convicted felons; the boy and his mother, who testified against the defendants recanted; Lax discovered a hair sample from the crime scene that resembled Terry Hobbs' DNA; the wife of John Mark Byers, the father of one of the victims, was found dead under "unsolved" circumstances; and Pam Hobbs continued to look for the truth about her son's murder.
- Reese Witherspoon as Pamela Hobbs, mother of Stevie Branch
- Mireille Enos as Vicki Hutcheson, a new resident of West Memphis who plays a part in the boys' arrest
- Colin Firth as Ron Lax, private investigator
- Dane DeHaan as Chris Morgan, suspect who was detained for questioning
- Jet Jurgensmeyer as Stevie Branch, one of the victims
- Brandon Spink as Christopher Byers, one of the victims
- Paul Boardman Jr. as Michael Moore, one of the victims
- Kevin Durand as John Mark Byers, adoptive father of Christopher Byers
- Bruce Greenwood as Judge David Burnett, the original trial judge
- Stephen Moyer as John Fogelman, deputy prosecuting attorney
- Elias Koteas as Jerry Driver, Echols' parole officer
- Amy Ryan as Margaret Lax, wife of Ron Lax
- Alessandro Nivola as Terry Hobbs, stepfather of Stevie Branch
- Kristopher Higgins as Jessie Misskelley, Jr., one of the suspects
- James Hamrick as Damien Echols, one of the suspects
- Seth Meriwether as Jason Baldwin, one of the suspects
- Gary Grubbs as Dale Griffis, cult expert
- Martin Henderson as Brent Davis
- Collette Wolfe as Gloria Shettles, investigator for Echols' defense team
- Kristoffer Polaha as Val Price, Echols' public defender
- Rex Linn as Inspector Gary Gitchell, the lead West Memphis investigator
- Matt Letscher as Paul Ford, Baldwin's defense attorney
- Michael Gladis as Dan Stidham, Misskelley's defense attorney
- Brian Howe as Detective McDonough
- Robert Baker as Police Lieutenant Bryn Ridge, detective who discovered the missing boys' clothes
- Wilbur Fitzgerald as Tom
Colin Firth was confirmed to have joined the cast on May 21, 2012. More casting announcements were made on June 27, 2012. The film was produced by Elizabeth Fowler, Richard Saperstein, Clark Peterson, Christopher Woodrow and Paul Harris Boardman, and the screenplay was written by Boardman and Scott Derrickson. The first image from the set was revealed on June 26, 2012.
The world premiere was held at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2013. Image Entertainment purchased the distribution rights after its premiere. The film was released in Canadian theaters (both English and French) on January 24, 2014.
Devil's Knot holds a 24% rating on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 99 reviews. The general consensus states: "Director Atom Egoyan's noble intentions are impossible to deny, but Devil's Knot covers fact-based ground that's already been well-traveled with multiple (and far more compelling) documentaries, adding nothing worthwhile along the way." On Metacritic, the film has a 42/100 rating, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
- Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996)
- Paradise Lost 2: Revelations (2000)
- Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory (2011)
- West of Memphis (2012)
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Date de sortie au Québec: 24 janvier 2014
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