Helter Skelter - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Helter Skelter Reviews

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Super Reviewer
February 14, 2014
Good biopic on the life of Charles Manson and his "family", Helter Skelter is one of those made for TV movie films that touches on a few truer facts about Manson's life, and takes creative liberties with the real story. There is no doubt that Manson was a sick, twisted psycho, and with that we get a feeling for the monster in a terrific performance by Jeremy Davies in the lead role. He delivers a performance that saves this movie from being a total waste of time. Helter Skelter is not a film for everyone, obviously due to the subject. But to those interested in Manson, this is a no brainer to watch. However if you're looking for an accurate portrait of events, Helter Skelter leaves a bit to be desired. The film nonetheless relies on a good cast to make up for its shortcomings. The film boasts a good story as well, but if you're going into this film expecting an accurate portrait of the events, you're going to be disappointed. Helter Skelter is better than most made for TV films, and for that it does distinguish itself from other films of said genre. With a good cast, and a good script, this film is good for what it sets out to do, but it is not the definitive portrait of Charles Manson's life. The film serves more of a stepping stone for people who merely interested in the subject, and it does manage to entertain. However, like I said, this is a film not for everyone, and if you're not interested in such a subject, then I would recommend you'd skip out on this one. But it does manage to be entertaining and quite frankly disturbing at the same time, which makes Helter Skelter a memorable dramatic biopic about one of the most depraved psychos of the 20th Century.
Super Reviewer
½ November 16, 2010
As an accurate representation of the life of Charles Manson, this movie is acceptable. As a piece of entertainment produced simply for this means, this film is good. I have a keen interest in Charles Manson, as most people do (:P) and I love Jeremy Davies so naturally this movie looked like a winner. If I were basing my review purely on Davies' portrayal of the mentally unhinged and deeply spiritual Manson, then this review would have five out of five easily, as I think it is one of the most comfortable roles I have ever seen him in. However as a movie and more importantly as something that claims to be rooted in fact, from my knowledge, this movie is accurate in some parts but very random in others, giving it a middle of the road two and half out of five, but making it still definatley worth a watch.
Super Reviewer
½ April 12, 2009
This made-for-tv movie tells the story of influential yet twisted Charles Manson who has led a group of people , eventually known as the Manson Family and the events that led to his arrest after organizing a series of murders.

Jeremy Davies, who is better known for his character as Daniel Faraday in the Lost TV series, was brilliant in his portrayal as Charles Manson. The movie was a bit long, but each moment held my interest. It was obvious that it ran on a small budget, but the murder scenes were still spine-tingling.
Super Reviewer
½ February 28, 2009
Very sick movie. Jeremy Davies was awesome as Manson. I believed I was watching the real thing. I saw it a few years ago, but I still remember how creepy and chilling it was.
Super Reviewer
October 11, 2008
This movie pretty much educated me about Manson
½ May 10, 2011
Davies does a fine job as Manson, but I'm simply not interested in Manson or his dimwitted hippy followers enough, to give ''Helter Skelter'' a fresh rating.
March 15, 2010
*** (out of four)

The second filmed version of the celebrated true crime book by Vincent Bugliosi. It lacks the authentic feel of the first and feels quite stagey, but it features a good performance from Jeremy Davies and should interest those who are interested in the story of one of the biggest and most disturbing true life horror stories.

Davies plays Charles Manson, the evil genius who mesmerized dozens of young hippies. When his dreams of being in the music business failed and he was turned away by the likes of Terry Melcher and Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys, Manson convinced some of his followers to brutally murder those who were living in Melcher's former house. He hoped to spark a race war where he would eventually be the king.

I do recommend reading the book, since the film skips over a lot of important facts, but if you simply want to see a quick overview, this will do.
April 11, 2009
Eh. It was what it was... I preferred Davies to the Steve Railsback in his portrayal of Manson but I half expected him to start babbling about Physics while explaining how to kill people.
½ January 31, 2009
This is the TV version. I haven't seen the original, '76, but this one was great. That guy really pulled ol' Charlie off really well.
½ August 11, 2008
I thought that Jeremy Davies did an excellent job as Charles Manson. He looked just like him. I don't know if Charles acted like him or not but he at least portrayed him in a way that I think would be very similar to Manson. The story is very accurate with the facts that were given about the murders. It was exact even down to the details of the murders so they really tried to be accurate with this film. The only reason I'm not rating it higher is because, at times, it was a little slow. Other then that, it was an entertaining movie and an accurate look into the life of Charles Manson.
July 29, 2008
Sure it's a made for TV movie, but it's got some real chilling moments.
It's a bit hollywood, but for the ever growing number of Jeremy Davies fans, this is not to be missed.
Davies is incredible. Totally creepy.
Davies is Manson and that is intense.
½ May 2, 2008
Jeremy Davies gives me the shits. Sometimes I like the shits that Jeremy Davies gives me. I did not like the shits Jeremy Davies gave me during "Helter Skelter". No sir, I did not. Read the damn book already. It's fantastic.
½ June 11, 2008
I found this very disturbing and slightly scary....remember seeing it back in highschool..our teacher made us watch it.
½ August 11, 2007
okay this movie is like a documentary, its pretty good too but sad that it really did happen, sharon tate was beautiful.
January 15, 2007
I gave this movie 5 stars just because it told the true story of what the Manson Family was about. It is hard to watch at times, but it is a good movie.
June 18, 2014
Illuminated by wonderful acting led by Jeremy Davies and Clea DuVall, this Helter Skelter remake offers a more fascinating look at the inner life of the Manson family rather than the dry procedural of the trial that locked them away.
June 27, 2015
The best in depth depection of Charlie. Jeremy Davies did an excellent job although..... I don't have time to go into how much I know the facts and certain people of the "real" Charlie and the criticism of NOT REALLY being related to him, so therefor....I think he portrayed him just coming off a much too arrogant and cocky, I think he tried to put to much emphasis n being sly and slick, so forth. Overall though, as of yet. I see NO ONE toping his performance.
½ July 6, 2014
I would have given the movie 4 stars if it's not for the anti-climactic ending. But Jeremy Davies is excellent as Manson
½ April 14, 2014
One of if not the most disturbing films I've ever seen. The actor who plays Manson does it with such a real passion and it is terrifying. If you ever wanted to know more about the manson family murders here is your chance.
½ April 6, 2014
I've watched a lot of versions of this story and I think this version is the best by far. I recommend this movie to anyone interested in this crime.
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