What is Copycat Killer about? New Netflix series explained

A still from Copycat Killer on NetflixNetflix

Copycat Killer, a new Taiwanese serial-killer thriller, has just dropped on Netflix – so, here’s what it’s about, who’s in the cast, and if it’s worth watching.

We have been obsessing over on-screen serial killers for decades, whether it’s Norman Bates in Psycho, Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, Ghostface in the Scream franchise, or Leatherface in the Texas Chainsaw movies.

Now, the genre has offered up something new for viewers to binge: Copycat Killer, a Chinese-language series featuring a “spate of grisly murders, a tenacious prosecutor, and a dangerous manipulator.”

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With the show dropping on Netflix today, here’s everything you need to know.

What is Copycat Killer about?

Copycat Killer is based on Japanese author Miyabe Miyuki’s bestselling novel. Set in ’90s Taiwan, it follows the pursuit of a “serial killer who taps into the media interest over his murders and ruthlessly manipulates their victims” and treats “the police and the media like a puppet master.”

Check out the trailer below:

The synopsis, as per Netflix, reads: “Taking advantage of the widespread interest, the media-savvy serial killer turns the case into a national spectacle, fueling gossip and notoriety.

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“A no-nonsense prosecutor, played by award-winning actor Wu Kang-ren, vows to solve the case only to realize that things are not what they seem. Meanwhile, the killer repeatedly makes a mockery of law and justice as he seeks to destroy peace and order in society.”

On moving the setting from Tokyo to Taipei, producer Hank Tseng said: “The late nineties in Taiwan was an era of disintegrating social values, where truths and lies were muddled and mass media was on a high. Through this series, I hope to convey the simple principle that justice is irreplaceable.”

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Copycat Killer cast: Who’s in it?

The Copycat Killer cast includes:

  • Wu Kang-ren as Guo Xiaoqi
  • Alice Ko as Hu Yunhui
  • Tuo Tsung-hua as Lin Shanyong
  • Yao Chun-yao as Chen Heping
  • Fandy Fan as Shen Jiawen
  • Cammy Chiang as reporter Lu Yizhen
  • Hsia Teng-hung as Hu Jianhe
  • Ruby Lin as Yao Yaci

Wu is best known for her performances in Light The Night, Shards of Her and Mom! Don’t Do That.

She said: “Genre series are fascinating as you won’t figure out who the killer is, right until the end.

“Every character is connected by hidden threads, which unravel throughout the story. Likewise, I follow my character in exploring these threads, gradually forming a beautiful web of connections. I look forward to bringing viewers on the journey of discovering the masterful storytelling behind each thread.”

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Is Copycat Killer worth watching?

While there’s no Rotten Tomatoes score for Copycat Killer, it’s received positive reviews so far.

Heaven of Horror compared it to Se7en and Saw, writing: “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.”

Martin Cid also wrote: “If what you want is a serial killer thriller which is completely classic in every way, with a highly-polished atmosphere and with good eighties photography, markedly retro and without any compunction to change the aesthetic sense of future centuries, this series can be considered to be good entertainment.”

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Copycat Killer is streaming on Netflix now.

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