COPYCAT KILLER on Netflix is a new serial killer thriller series. It’s from Taiwan and is based on a popular crime mystery novel by a Japanese writer. There are ten episodes and it has elements of Se7en in key areas. Read our full Copycat Killer series review here!
COPYCAT KILLER is a new Netflix thriller series. As heavily indicated by the title, this is indeed a serial killer story. The production is Taiwanese and the story plays out in Taipei in the 1990s. The series is actually based on a very popular novel by a Japanese author.
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While I am reluctant to say this, I can’t help but mention that – from the very first episode – it has a heavy Se7en vibe. Mostly in the way the killer taunts both the police and victims. Including forcing people to actually perform murders or be victims themselves. It is brutal!
Continue reading our Copycat Killer series review below. Find all 10 episodes on Netflix from March 31, 2023.
The first serial killer in Taiwan
Copycat Killer is set in 1990s Taipei. Something you can tell by everything from the clothes people wear to the cars they drive. And especially the computers, televisions, and those clunky cell phones that were still a very new addition to the world.
In this serial killer story, the main villain takes advantage of the widespread interest from both the press and the public. Our serial killer is very media-savvy and manages to turn the case into quite the spectacle. Everyone is paying attention and the masked serial killer becomes a celebrity in his own right as he taunts the police and prosecutor on the case.
However, the actual lead character in the series is the prosecutor. Episode 1 opens with the serial killer talking directly to the prosecutor via a tape shown on TV. Then we go back eight weeks and move forward to the starting point from there.
This is when we get to know the prosecutor, Kuo Hsiao-Chi, who is someone that truly believes in justice. Rather than being a prosecutor happy with closing a case by any means possible, he wants justice to prevail. Any “open and shut”-case is still investigated closely to make sure nothing is missed.
He’s unconventional in that sense. Though honestly, if you were on the suspect list, you’d want him handling the case. At times, he’s a Defense Lawyer as much as a Prosecutor, when he believes the police are focusing on the wrong suspect.
The award-winning actor Wu Kang-ren plays the role of Prosecutor Kuo Hsiao-chi. You might recognize Wu Kang-ren from The 9th Precinct (2019) or the HBO horror anthology Folklore (he’s in episode 1 of season 2).
A touch of Se7en and a dab of Saw
When I compare Copycat Killer to Se7en and say I’m reluctant to do so, it’s only because David Fincher’s 1995 movie is an iconic masterpiece. Also, it’s a personal all-time favorite of mine. And yet, there’s a dark and brutal vibe in this new serial killer series from Taiwan that immediately made me think of Se7en.
Also, there are elements of the story that made me think of Saw. A masked serial killer taunting his victims (or potential victims) and wanting to play games with them. Yeah, that’s definitely Saw territory. So, while we wait for the next installment of that franchise with Saw 10 coming out in October 2023, you could check out this Netflix series.
And yes, I’ll gladly admit that I am mentioning some of these very popular and well-known titles to get you intrigued. I know any Netflix release that isn’t in English is often overlooked. And this Taiwanese thriller series obviously isn’t in English. It’s very much a Chinese-language [in this case, Mandarin] crime thriller.
However, as I hope the above comparisons have made clear, it’s one you ought to check out. If you like serial killer stories, that is, of course.
Watch the Copycat Killer series on Netflix now!
This new Netflix series is adapted from a popular crime mystery novel. The novel comes from Japanese writer Miyuki Miyabe. She’s both a writer and an actor, though she mostly writes. In fact, there’s one acting reference on her IMDb page. Not that this can be trusted as IMDb is notoriously lacking in Asian updates.
Also, there are quite a few adaptions of her novels already made. Including productions from Japan and South Korea.
The directors of the 10 episodes in the series are Henri Chang and Jung-chi Chang, who both have several productions (movies and series) on their respective resumes.
You never know if any series on Netflix will live beyond season 1. Limited series that aren’t supposed to get a season 2, suddenly do, while first seasons ending on wild cliffhangers are canceled. Basically, it’s probably safe to say that if this is a hit for Netflix, there’ll surely be a Copycat Killer season 2. We’ll just have to wait and see!
Copycat Killer season 1 is on Netflix from March 31, 2023.
Directors: Chang Jung-chi, Henri Chang
Writer: Miyuki Miyabe
Cast: Wu Kang-ren, Alice Ko, Tuo Tsung-hua, Yao Chun-yao, Fandy Fan, Cammy Chiang, Hsia Teng-Hung, Ruby Lin
When a spate of grisly murders throws a city into chaos, a tenacious prosecutor must brace for a cat-and-mouse game against a dangerous manipulator.
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