Stars Elisabeth Moss, Jamie Bell, Wagner Moura, Amy Brenneman.
For fans of serial killer stories, “Shining Girls” will prove an excitingly creepy entrant in the genre.
From the very first scene of this story about a time-traveling murderer, the menace is heightened by the fact that he seems to know what’s going to happen long before his victims and the audience does. This plot device effectively puts the viewer in the mindset of heroine Kirby (Elisabeth Moss), who is sent into a chaos of timelines that keep her and the audience on edge.
While this series was released on a weekly basis, it’s now concluded. That’s a good thing as the best way to watch it is in one long or a few long binge sessions, as keeping the plotlines straight are much easier when there’s not a week between clues.
The performances are first-rate all around. Moss as always is an appealing everywoman with which viewers can identify, and Jamie Bell as the killer Harper Curtis is just unimposing enough to make his true nature shocking. (As the famous killer in Psycho says, he looks like he “wouldn’t even harm a fly.”) Wagner Moura, who plays Dan, a reporter on the case, gives unique life to the rumpled gumshoe. Amy Brenneman turns in an equally effective performance as Kirby’s mother.
As multiverses seem to be the theme of the moment, “Shining Girls” fits right in. Viewers must contemplate numerous realities along with Kirby, all while trying to find a killer who seems to have the key to navigating the pathways between them — and that makes him a particularly terrifying foe.