the homeless rockstar of palo alto’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Are you sure there's no one else in the house?"
Zodiac is not a horror film necessarily. However, in my opinion it is arguably one of the scariest movies. It's the kind of film that succeeds in scaring you by what it doesn't show rather than what it does. It's all about what you don't know. Although, some of the scenes they do show do make your stomach turn.
It seems that Zodiac is Fincher's most personal film for a couple reasons. For one, he grew up in the San Francisco area around the time of the Zodiac letters so it comes as no surprise how authentic each shot and set looks. Also, the whole movie is about obsession which is Fincher's most recognizable trait as he has become famous for being arguably the most obsessive modern filmmaker. What we get is a film where you can tell there was a crazy amount of work put into it as well as a movie that chills you because all of this happened. Unlike Fincher's The Social Network where the true story is altered in ways to make a better narrative, Zodiac is kept almost exactly the same as the true story at times which makes it all the more chilling.
The runtime is nearly 3 hours but it never ever drags. It even seems like a 5 hour movie that was somehow packed tightly together to be under 3 hours. There is so much information to take in with every line of dialogue, edit and frame that if you miss a second of it you could get lost. It exhausts you in the best way possible because the Zodiac case is exhausting and frustrating. It's also enthralling at the same time. It's impossible to watch this movie without looking into the case itself afterwards.
I don't know exactly what it is but there is something about that basement scene that sends chills down my spine. It's terrifying because we don't know exactly why the fuck this is happening. Also, those fucking phone calls that Graysmith starts getting... FECK me.
All the performances too are amazing which comes as no surprise of course. Other than maybe Nightcrawler, this is probably my favourite Gyllenhaal role and I absolutely love where his character goes. Don't forget the editing either because some of the montages and parallel cutting are so impressive that it draws our attention deeper into the multiple perspectives in the film.
This gets better with every viewing and this time I was glued to every second of it. My compulsion towards this story will not stop either as it has not left my mind. I will be googling a ton of shit again because this story is so insane. Masterpiece.