An Amish Murder A.K.A. Sworn to Silence (2013) – Review

3 Stars

Kate Burkholder (Neve Campbell) returns to the small town she grew up in to take over as police chief. After the dead body of an Amish girl is found with marks revealing the return of a notorious serial killer, Kate must rely on the reason she got the job in the first place. She grew up in the nearby Amish community. Regardless of the helpful Deputy Sheriff Nathan Detrick (C. Thomas Howell), the mayor is on Kate’s case to close this matter quickly and quietly. An FBI profiler named John Tomasetti (Noam Jenkins) is brought in for assistance (and romance). One problem, the Amish are shunning her for her quick departure years ago that left behind her heartbroken fiance. The reason for her leaving is a dark secret that plagues the Burkholder family and may be the key to unlocking the serial killer’s identity.

This is a Lifetime original movie based on the book Sworn to Silence and was a backdoor pilot for a possible series. The film does a good job of keeping the killer hard to guess, although I was able to right off the bat, it did make me waver from my initial decision. Director Stephen Gyllenhaal paints a very believable picture of a small town colliding with their Amish neighbors. Shot beautifully against the backdrop of a cold snowy winter, An Amish Murder plays perfectly into its setting giving us the feeling of an ominous murderer on the loose.

The real reason to check out An Amish Murder is the cast. Neve Campbell is comfortable and in charge as Chief Kate Burkholder. Her unnerving push for the truth could be applied to almost any other major CIA type role of recent memory – Zero Dark Thirty and Homeland come to mind, not that I’m drawing any direct comparisons from those to this. C. Thomas Howell holds his own as always and Noam Jenkins meshes well with Campbell. They work as a couple on screen both as police and romantic partners.

I was surprised to have enjoyed An Amish Murder as much as I did. If you’re in the mood for a simple straight forward hunt for a serial killer that’s not gory but still a decent thriller check this one out next time it airs.

Director: Stephen Gyllenhaal
Stars: Neve Campbell, Noam Jenkins, C. Thomas Howell

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