On December 8, 1980, Mark David Chapman shot John Lennon outside of his home at the Dakota apartments in New York City. The murder stunned the world and senselessly robbed the music scene of one of its brightest and most prolific stars. Chapter 27 goes behind the crime and the headlines and explores the makings of the man who would kill one of the world’s most beloved musicians.
Since everyone knows how the story ends, with Chapman gunning down John Lennon on his doorstep, the movie instead focuses on why Chapman developed his deadly fixation on the legendary Beatles star and how he became so unstable. It doesn’t exactly humanize the killer–and, frankly, who but a defense attorney would want to–but it is an interesting look inside the machinations of the mind of a killer.
Jared Leto delivers a brilliantly creepy and committed performance as the increasingly unhinged and Catcher in the Rye-obsessed Chapman. This role is a long way from his heartthrob days on My So-Called Life, but he lives up to the challenge. The biggest surprise of the film, though, is Lindsay Lohan, who is impressively not annoying as Chapman’s naive and innocent friend, adjectives not frequently associated with Ms. Lohan these days. Also co-starring in the movie is Judah Friedlander, best known for his role as Frank on 30 Rock, who is almost unrecognizable as another Beatles fan Chapman befriends. The movie is necessarily dark, but it is a notable debut for director Jarrett Schaefer.
Chapter 27 airs on IFC at 6:45 p.m. ET