Knight Moves is an okay film. The idea of the chess game with human lives had been done before in odd efforts like The Black Cat (1934), Sherlock Holmes Faces Death (1943) and tvs Twin Peaks (1990-1). The blending of the serial killer and chess metaphor is a clever idea unfortunately, the scripts progression of clues has an irritable looseness. The plot only intermittently keeps you hooked in its twists and turns. The denouement is disappointing for all the killers keeping their identity hidden, one expected the revelation to be of someone who was more integral to the plot. When finally seen, the psycho is just another twitching weirdo who barely seems to be able to hold it together let alone to have the brains to conduct such an ingenious scheme.
Knight Moves has clearly been designed for the big-screen from the outset with its wide-angle photography and slam-bang stereo soundtrack. Director Carl Schenkel does a fair job in keeping tensions tightly wound throughout. Star Christopher Lambert also Executive Produces Knight Moves and one can clearly see why he shepherded the script in as it at least allows him to use his one-dimensional acting style to advantage.
Carl Schenkel was a Swiss-born director who made a number of other genre films, including the sex film Dracula Blows His Cool (1979), the festival-acclaimed psycho-thriller Out of Order (1984), the occult tv movie Bay Coven (1987), Exquisite Tenderness/The Surgeon (1995) about a deranged surgeon, and Tarzan and the Lost City (1998).
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