“The Hawk” is a mild serial-killer suspenser hooded by a stop-go script and telefilm-style direction. The tube looks like the cosiest nest for this BBC Films effort, which is making the fest rounds.
Helen Mirren toplines as Anne Marsh, a northeast England housewife with two kids who gradually suspects spouse Stephen (George Costigan) to be “The Hawk,” the media name for a sicko who’s raped six women in the East Lancashire area.
Stephen has been out of town on business each time a murder has been committed, and there’s the strange matter of a missing hammer from the toolshed.
His brother (Owen Teale), an automobile mechanic, acts mighty suspicious, too.
After much to-ing and fro-ing, Anne kicks Stephen out of the house, later vacationing with her kids in a country retreat.
Double-twist finale is clever but dramatically weak, more like an afterthought when the main action has peaked.
David Hayman’s direction has its cinematic moments, but they seem more spliced into a suburban drama than part of a bigger movie.
Mirren does what she can with Peter Ransley’s poor script (from his own novel) but sends mixed dramatic signals after her powerhouse roles as a manhunting cop in the “Prime Suspect” duo. Costigan and Teale, with lesser reps, come off better.
Technically, the production is solid.