The Chronicle Mysteries: Recovered Review


*Major spoilers*

*Even though no one else I know has probably watched it*

*Except my girlfriend*

*But she has already seen it*

*So this doesn’t really matter*

Alex McPherson investigates a cold-case disappearance of a childhood friend while recording an episode of her true crime broadcast. Along the way, Alex uncovers many shocking truths about her friend’s disappearance, including a murder cover-up from the time her friend disappeared.

Since this is a Hallmark TV movie, a lot of what happens plays into audience expectations. A subversion of these expectations would create a sour response within the target audience, and any attempt at profundity would be met with confused faces. This is not a criticism, but merely an observation.

As is often the case with these “murder mystery” style TV movies, attention to detail is not its strong suit. The plethora of characters and story details do not come across as attention to detail, but rather as an attempt to make things out to be more complicated than they were.

The details regarding the fake businesses in this movie are a perfect example of this. Or the several red herrings that appear along the way. It is more manufactured than contrived. More plastic than human. But these elements give the movie space for its characters, which are surprisingly decent (although the “bad guys” are stereotypical and boring).

Has more in common with the diluted storytelling of film noir than the precise storytelling of a thrilling murder as can be found in the work of Hitchcock. Maybe plot convolution is a reflection of reality, where nothing really makes sense but still, we find patterns and reach conclusions, just as Alex McPherson did.

A light-hearted (I always find it weird that MURDER mysteries such as these are considered LIGHT-HEARTED, but whatever) romp that shouldn’t be taken too seriously (except as a case study to exercise film theory knowledge). Fun.

6/10 – Decent

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