Like La Nuit du 12, 5 investigative films that remained unresolved

Here are 5 films that you might want to (re)watch after La Nuit du 12 by Dominik Moll, a surprise success this summer at the cinema. All these films are unresolved (or almost) investigations, whose writing and suspense marked the spectators.

Carried by excellent word-of-mouth and a very good critical reception, by making one of the best rated films by the press in 2022, The Night of 12 by Dominik Moll stands out as one of the surprise successes of the summer. This investigative film stands out in the summer box office thanks to its good resistance against blockbusters like Bullet Train, Minions 2 or Buzz Lightning.

Inspired by real events, La Nuit du 12 follows a sordid and unresolved investigation carried out by the judicial police, in this case the murder of Clara (Lula Cotton-Frapier), a young woman burned alive one night. This case is followed by Yohan (Bastien Bouillon), supported by Marceau (Bouli Lanners). Yohan will be deeply marked by what this survey says about the world around him and violence against women…

Like La Nuit du 12, a certain number of thrillers in the cinema have the particularity of having unresolved plots* or whose ending leaves the spectator totally perplexed as to what could have motivated the murder(s) recounted. We’ve selected five, plus a bonus: Memories of Murder having the particularity of having been solved years after the release of the film!

La Nuit du 12 is currently in theaters.

* NB: For La Nuit du 12, this is not a spoiler, this precision being made from the opening credits

Zodiac by David Fincher (2007)

Like la nuit du 12, 5 investigative films that remained unresolved
Warner Bros. France

What is it about ? From 1966 to 1978, the story of three individuals determined to put an end to the actions of the Zodiac killer, a serial killer responsible for the death of 37 people in San Francisco.

The story behind the film:
Zodiac of David Fincher starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr. is inspired by the story of the true story of the Zodiac Killer which raged in California between 1966 and 1978. Although the killer always acted with his face uncovered and composite portraits may have been produced , at no time did the police find convincing suspects. The Zodiac killer is accused of having committed between 37 and 200 murders, while remaining within a radius of 200 kilometers around San Francisco.

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In October 2021, the case unexpectedly rebounded… More than 50 years after the events, a team of more than 40 investigators finally found the identity of the serial killer. Read more…

Where to see the film? On Netflix, OCS, on VOD or DVD.

The Black Dahlia by Brian de Palma (2006)

Like la nuit du 12, 5 investigative films that remained unresolved
Metropolitan FilmExport

What is it about ? In this dark murder story set in 1947, a police officer becomes obsessed with the heinous murder of a famous actress in Los Angeles. A crime which sends him back to the never elucidated murder of his mother, and which he swears to solve…

The story behind the film: The Black Dahlia of Brian de Palma is the adaptation of the homonymous novel by James Ellroy, published in 1987. The book is based on the true story of the murder of Elizabeth Short, a young actress who left Hollywood in the late 1940s for Massachusetts. She disappeared mysteriously at the beginning of January 1947. Fifteen days later, her horribly mutilated body was found abandoned in South Los Angeles. His killer has never been found or identified. Read more…

Where to see the film? On myCANAL, on VOD and DVD.

Sean Penn’s The Pledge (2001)

Like la nuit du 12, 5 investigative films that remained unresolved
Warner Bros. France

What is it about ? Although his co-workers pressure him to end his career with the police, Jerry is determined to carry out one last investigation. He solemnly promises the mother of a young victim to find her murderer.

The story behind the movie : The sordid facts told at the beginning of The Pledge are based on real events. Inspector Joe Depczynski, technical adviser on the film, had at the time led an investigation to find out who the real child killer was. It is from this base that Jerzy Kromolowski and Mary Olson Kromolowski co-wrote the screenplay, based on the book The Promise by Friedrich Dürrenmatt. Note, however, that the film takes liberties with the true story and offers a completely different outcome, which marked many of its spectators for its very dark side.

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Where to see the film? On VOD and DVD.

38 Witnesses by Lucas Belvaux (2012)

Like la nuit du 12, 5 investigative films that remained unresolved
Diaphana Cast

What is it about ? While returning from a business trip to China, Louise discovers that her street has been the scene of a crime. No witness, everyone was asleep. It seems. Pierre, her husband, was working. He was at sea. Apparently… The police are investigating, the press too…

The story behind the film: 38 witnesses of Lucas Belvaux is an adaptation of the novel “Is This How Women Die?” by David Decoin, released in 2009 by Grasset and Fasquelle editions.

At the time of the film’s release, its director explained that he was interested in the themes linked to this story, such as justice, lies, cowardice, the couple, etc. The director’s desire was to talk about people, and their behavior in relation to this particular situation, while confronting the spectator with it, making him “witness to witnesses”.

Where to see the film? On VOD and DVD.

Memento by Christopher Nolan (2000)

Like la nuit du 12, 5 investigative films that remained unresolved

What is it about ? Leonard has only one idea in mind: to track down the man who raped and murdered his wife in order to get revenge. His search for the murderer is made more difficult by the fact that he suffers from a rare and incurable form of amnesia…

The story behind the film: Taking the form of a kaleidoscope, with its exploded narration, Memento by Christopher Nolan is a film that has marked the history of cinema. In addition to its totally confusing and therefore totally striking construction, the scenario fascinates by its subject. “One of my goals in making this film was to place the viewer in the position of one of the protagonists of the story, to push them to examine the existential conditions of identity and the daily process of learning, the increase in memory”, explained Christopher Nolan at the time of the release of the film.

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One inevitably wonders about the veracity of the illness from which the main character suffers. This disorder suffered by the character of Leonard Shelby really exists, and is called anterograde amnesia. It results in an inability to form new memories. If Memento does not fall into the category of films directly inspired by real events, nor films with unresolved investigations, it nevertheless leaves the spectator in uncertainty. Here, the question is “Why?” “. What drove Leonard to murder in the first place? Murder is a given, the question is about motive.

Where to see the film? On VOD and DVD.

Bonus: Memories of Murder by Bong Joon Ho (2004)

Like la nuit du 12, 5 investigative films that remained unresolved

CTV International

What is it about ? In 1986, in the province of Gyunggi, the body of a young woman who was raped and then murdered was found in the countryside. Two months later, other similar crimes take place. In a country that has never known such atrocities, the rumor of acts committed by a serial killer is growing day by day.

The story behind the film: The story of Memories of murder is inspired by real events, which took place between 1986 and 1991. The first Serial Killer in the entire history of Korea raped and murdered ten women, within a radius of two kilometers. The oldest of the victims was 71 years old. The youngest was a 13-year-old schoolgirl. The murderer never left any clues behind, leaving the investigation unsolved for a very long time. In September 2019, everything changes! 30 years later, the real killer who inspired the film has been identified by Korean police. A few weeks later, the suspect admits the facts. Director Bong Joon Ho even spoke later about solving this mystery. since the Cannes Film Festival in 2019.

Where to see the film? On Prime Video, on VOD or DVD.

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