Why is Netflix shorting David Fincher‘s The Killer in terms of theatre bookings? I don’t know what’s happening in Biloxi, Albuquerque, Fresno or Montpellier, but people who live in the suburbs of New York and Los Angeles are definitely being told “sorry, guys, but we’ve decided not to show The Killer in your neck of the woods this weekend or next…no offense but tough darts.”

As a gesture of award-season respect and a tip of the hat to Fincher’s rep as a major-league auteur, Netflix will be showing The Killer in several theatres starting tomorrow, or between Friday, 10.27 and Friday, 11.10, which is when it’ll begin streaming.

And yet it won’t be playing in any AMC or Cinemark theatres in the general area, which means that NYC-area suburbanites looking for a big-screen experience will have to see it in Manhattan or Brooklyn (it’s at the Paris, Regal Union Square and various Alamo theatres) or at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville.

Why restrict access? Netflix seems to be saying “we don’t think The Killer will please Joe Popcorn types or suburban audiences and that it’s better to restrict bookings to hipper big-city theatres and cutting-edge crowds.”

That’s an insult, man…”we don’t think you’re deep or sharp or thoughtful enough to get this film.”

There’s no question that The Killer is one of 2023’s beautiful oddities…arguably the most curious-feeling, finely crafted, possibly-residing-on-another-planet film around. Actually the only one that adheres to a perverse and particular scheme of this sort….fascinating but ice-cold.

At first it resembles a typical genre programmer about a professional assassin, but it soon gets hold of something more, something else. We all know what “escapism” generally feels like, and that it tends to feel slick and smoothed-over and occasionally frothy. I only know this isn’t the deal with The Killer…that there’s something weirdly isolated, existentially detached and almost liberating running through it…something above and beyond and residing within.

All I can say is that Netflix’s “we don’t want to make it easy for suburbanites to see this film” isn’t cool. If I were Fincher I would be hugely pissed, but then I’m not him.