One of the most overlooked movies of the 1990’s, Copycat stars Sigourney Weaver, Holly Hunter, Harry Conick Jr. and Dermot Mulroney, in a suspenseful, psychological thriller with many twists along the way. Copycat is a movie that has ceased to enter in the conversation and I personally think that Copycat ranks up there as one of the better thrillers from the 90’s, a decade that perfected what the thriller genres is today.

Why Copycat Was Overlooked…

Released in 1995, Copycat was made for $20 million and took in just $32 million at the domestic box office. This means that while the movie made over its budget, it isn’t considered a success. As far as the critics go, Copycat did better. It holds a 75% critics score and a lower 64% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes and esteemed film critic Roger Ebert gave Copycat 3 and a half stars.

Like I mentioned above, Copycat came out in the middle of a decade that gave us some dark, twisted thrillers and while Copycat certainly has its suspenseful moments, it certainly isn’t as dark as Se7en or The Silence of the Lambs. Subsequently, the 90’s saw thrillers and police dramas explode on the small screen, from NYPD Blue, to Homicide: Life on the Street, to New York Undercover, all of which dealt with dark subjects like murder, drugs and gang warfare every single week.

By the late 90’s, thrillers would begin to take on sci-fi and action elements due to the popularity of The Matrix. Smaller, character-driven thrillers would go overlooked but become more popular on TV, with examples above. One could say that while Copycat was overlooked in the film world, the idea of a female criminal expert assisting the police in trying to solve homicides, inspired many TV shows starting from the early 2000’s. While many of those shows would end up having varying successes, the premise of Copycat can definitely be felt later, which makes it an unknowingly seminal movie and one that was ahead of its time.

Why Copycat Deserves A Viewing…

Copycat is about a female criminal expert, played by Weaver, who survives an attack on her life early in the film. She’s then teamed up with a female detective, played by Hunter, as they must find a murderer whose copying famous killers from the past. Recovering from her wounds and subsequent PTSD, Weaver’s character develops severe agoraphobia. Unable to leave her home without experiencing panic attacks, Weaver’s character remains stationary for most of the movie’s run time. Perhaps the 1990’s wasn’t the era to release a female-driven, Rear Window-esque, who-done-it, when audiences were mostly interested in dark and more violent movies. This could be a contributing factor to the lack of Copycat’s success.

The failure of the movie is certainly a shame since Copycat is one of Sigourney Weaver’s better performances from the 90’s. Remember, this was the decade she did Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection. The good news was that Weaver would follow up her lead performance in Copycat with her critically acclaimed role in The Ice Storm and later go onto do Galaxy Quest, which are two of her best roles from the 90’s.

If you like mysteries, thrillers, who-done-its, police procedurals and even Rear Window, I recommend seeing Copycat and if you didn’t like this movie the first time, I recommend a second viewing. Copycat is a HIGHLY UNDERRATED movie with two amazing female characters and a SUSPENSEFUL, THRILLING story that will leave you guessing until the very end.

This is a good movie for young people to watch and marvel how far computer technology has come in just 20 years.