3.3.11

Who Was the Killer in Chain Letter?

Today, in my first-ever 'inspired by a google search' post, I've decided to answer the question that went unaddressed in my three other posts on the subject of Chain Letter, or in theAvod that the Divemistress and myself recently recorded about it: Who, exactly, was the killer in the movie Chain Letter?

When the Divemistress and myself discussed the film privately she made the (rather persuasive) argument that it doesn't matter who the killer was, since the film's plot wasn't a mystery, and it wasn't written well enough to to have 'meaning'. She's not wrong, but still, as a public service, I've assembled all the evidence below, and laid out a case for what was going on in the film, should you have been confused by the proceedings. And really, given the film's woeful incoherence, how could you not have been?

This headline lets us know that a special ops team was killed, and one of them captured. Dialogue in the following montage sequence informs us that this happened, preposterously, because the 'terrorists' were able to track the government-issued cell phones they were carrying. Which is odd, because army folk tend to carry satellite phones, rather than cells, but let's move on to the next headline-

Which, along with the voice-over, lets us know that the captured soldier was brutally tortured before being rescued. So obviously he's pretty upset about that.

This article is a little confusing, since its place in the timeline isn't exactly clear. The specific soldier referred to by the other articles can't have been involved in this protest (for reasons we'll get into soon enough), so its presence here is merely offered to suggest that vets might have a problem with technology. Not that that has anything to do with anything. Also, it's “overtake” or “take over”, but never “over take”.

So now the brutally injured soldier has disappeared from the hospital in which he was being treated, moving the backstory slightly forward. There's a little bit of confusion with the picture/text here, since the dateline places the story in Bahgdad (again misspelled - what is it with this paper and dropped Hs?) but the picture is clearly of an American hospital, which would make more sense. Soldiers only receive emergency care in-country. The second they're stabilized enough to be moved they go to a proper hospital, in either Germany or America.

So, at this point in the story, we know that a brutalized soldier has disappeared from the hospital where he was being treated for his injuries.

And now we know that the soldier in question has joined up with an anti-technology group, offering an explanation for the targets he'll be chasing after in the story.

So, to recap, by the end of the credits we know that there's a badly-injured special forces soldier out there who blames technology for the death of his unit, as well as his own maiming. So when we get a look at our killer-

And the looks never get better than that, folks. We can extrapolate that this badly injured man is the selfsame soldier that the articles discussed. Add this to the fact that the town where the murders are being committed in the American town most-associated with telecommunications research, and the fact that an old farmer:

Tells Keith David that the chains being used in the murder were of a kind made by a local blacksmith (now dead) named Wilson, whose son 'went off to that war', and you've got a pretty good picture of the killer's identity. Especially when Keith is able to track the killer to the defunct meat packing plant that Wilson used to supply chains to.

There you have it. Wilson Jr. was the soldier who was tortured in Afghanistan. When he arrived back in American he blamed telecommunications for his personal tragedy, and his rage built until he felt the need to lash out. He fled the hospital and met up with a like-minded cult, who gave him the technological know-how to set up his little chain letter scheme.

I can't tell you why he thought targeting the children of that town was a good idea, but nonetheless, that's who the killer was in Chain Letter, and why he did what he did.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explanation, i would have otherwise never have figured it out, great film though.

Elvin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

attention to detail, i did pay somewhat attention to the new paper thing when they were shown up. but i didn't bother putting them together. Great job on figuring that out.

Anonymous said...

Oh God thank you...I just finished watching this fiasco and I just couldn't put it all together for some reason. I will at least give it credit for it not having a stereotypical good outcome at the end and for not killing off the black kid...lol!