See No Evil: The Moors Murders (2006)

Allegedly recounting the grizzly child murders that took place in the Moors of Europe, “See No Evil: The Moors Murders” is a sluggishly paced dramatic thriller that is often too centered on character to ever actually concentrate on the murders behind Myra and Ian Bradley. Apart from its tedious pacing, the constant meandering from Writer Neil McKay and Directors Christopher Menaul, and Nicola Morrow turn the mini-series “See No Evil: The Moors Murders” into a trying, often tedious experience that frankly bored me out of my skull.

Directors Christopher Menaul, and Nicola Morrow dizzyingly jump from character to character constantly, focusing on the parents of two missing children in connection with the Bradley’s, the media frenzy inflicting them, the blame one father takes as a child murderer, etc. along with many other dubious turns in the story. Part one of the mini-series spotlights parents David and Maureen’s friendship with the Bradley’s, the obvious hints at psychotic tendencies by the couple, and the tragedy that inevitably exposes the couple’s murderous habits, which was all so trying on my patience and attention.

The characters have almost too much emphasis, with the menace of the couple never truly emphasized until the last half of the second part. The narrative relies mainly on build-up to execution that’s never as good as we expect it to be. Writer McKay just seems to be going through the motions in the first half, and he constantly posits a pay off that never arrives. “See No Evil: The Moors Murders” never really takes advantage of the concept and prefers a passive look at these two psychopaths with a constant basis on past tense, rather than fully unfold the brunt of what predators these two were for years. We never see the victims, and we never see any of the murders (not even suggestively).

So mired in sub-plots is writer McKay that even the killers are turned into supporting players with only a hinted importance. Directors Christopher Menaul, and Nicola Morrow choose instead to dwell on whether this hapless couple, drawn into the charm and appeal of the Bradley’s, bore witness to any of the murders, or even knew about the plans to commit them. It’s difficult to fault the fantastic direction, though, as “See No Evil: The Moors Murders” has an excellent sense of dread and doom painting the Moors not so much as a beautiful landscape, but as a valley of death for the innocent children snared by the two. I just wish this “controversial” movie would have let me in on why it was so notorious.