In an interesting peak into the world of murderer and cult leader Charles Manson, ‘Charlie Says’ tells the story of three women who fell under his spell.
‘Charlie Says’ is based on the books ‘The Family’ by Ed Sanders and ‘The Long Prison Journey of Leslie Van Houten’ by Karlene Faith, Ph.D. Faith worked with three women (Leslie Van Houten (Hannah Murray, Game of Thrones), Patricia Krenwinkel (Sosie Bacon), and Susan Atkins (Marianne Rendón) after they were sent to prison for murder. Faith wanted to understand, firstly, why the women were attracted to the world of the Charles Manson, and secondly, why they killed for him. Faith, played by Merritt Weaver, attempts to rehabilitate the women when are we introduced to their backstory, how they entered into the Manson clan and who were mesmerized by Charles himself (played spookily to a t by Matt Smith). Mostly women, and a couple men, were part of the Manson family where they all ate together, hung out together, and even slept together, with Manson calling all the shots. And then the infamous murders took place. The women took part in the brutal 1969 murders of couple Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, as well as the murder of eight month pregnant actress Sharon Tate, who was Director Roman Polanski’s wife. They were sent to prison for life for their participation in these murders.
‘Charlie Says’, directed by Mary Harron (American Psycho) and written by Guinevere Turner, is an eye opener into the world of Charles Manson, with great performances throughout, and Smith all to spookily a dead ringer for Manson.
Signature Entertainment presents Charlie Says on Amazon Prime Video
Review by Tim Baros