"The only people who make the news are psychopaths and serial killers." So begins the narrative of the local barber, Dexter Mills (Malcolm McDowell), who watches as the town of Revelstoke, Alaska, slides toward panic with each new murder that is visited upon their small town. Everyone who lives in Revelstoke suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a result of the 24-hour darkness that afflicts this part of the world at a certain time every year.
Slyly narrating, Mills is the consummate actor, always gregarious, listening avidly to gossip or the sheriff's woes, the absurdity of the investigation, even the lovelorn stories of young women who find him comforting: "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." Dexter has plenty to say about the murders, the incompetent FBI agents, his neighbors and the bumbling police. He warns in advance of his eccentricities, as the bodies fall, one after another, "I can tell you from experience, psychopaths hold grudges. I never forgive."
This small Alaskan town is literally blind-sided by the murderer that strikes from nowhere, lurking under the cover of eternal night that weighs upon all the residents. Dexter Mills is the natural center for assorted conversations, never under the least suspicion, watching, listening, either in the barber shop or the local pub, where the citizens gather, drinking away their fears.
McDowell is at his grisly best, carrying on his monologue for the entertainment of the audience, making us his confidants. The other characters are merely window dressing for McDowell's acting prowess, the Police Chief (Jeremy Ratchford) and a number of supporting actors who serve as fodder for the psychopath whose identity is evident from the first. Eerie and seductive, Mills manages to escape the notice of law enforcement, his clever machinations directing the actions of his unwitting pawns. A final thought: "If you think you know a psychopath, you're probably right." Luan Gaines/ 2005.