Although based on a true story, Canadian stage and film director Atom Egoyan’s movie Devils Knot (2013) is the rather un-compelling retelling of a incident involving the murder of three eight year old boys in Arkansas in 1993. The suspects, who became known as the West Memphis Three, were charged and convicted of the killings. Damien Echols was sentenced to death, with the other two, Jessie Misskelley Jnr and Jason Baldwin, sentenced to life imprisonment. Did they carry out the crime or was it a miscarriage of justice? The film stars a wooden Colin Firth as Ron Lax, an investigator who assists the defence team pro bono because of; the film informs us, his objection to capital punishment and Reese Witherspoon as Pamela Hobbs, mother of one of the young victims.
|The actual 'Three'.|
The problem with this movie is it lacks any element of surprise and turns out to be a plodding retelling of a well known story already covered by Mara Leveritts book, on which the movie is allegedly based, Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three, published in 2002 but also there is the three part documentary by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky which is said to be far superior. Which raises the question why bother?