Stanley Tucci plays the murderer who is a serial killer and implied pedophile. I will say in my initial viewing I saw Tucci as one of the few good things in the film, since the film itself is such a poorly directed film almost the rest of the way. Tucci also just happens to be part of the only section of the film that is not directed entirely ineptly which is the thriller section of the film. I must say though when I watched the film again even Tucci performance ran thin on me as well.
One thing that Tucci does do in this film fairly well in fact is being creepy, but really a lot of that has to go more with his look that even Tucci's performance. He just looks like someone with something wrong with him with his bad comb over, his mustache, his glasses, and the clothes that he wears. All that Tucci really adds to that is a strange voice that just seems like there is something wrong with it, and the occasional fake happy smiles, as well as a great number of evil stares.
After watching him once though his whole appearance, voice, and style just becomes far less effective, I suppose Tucci whole transformation into the killer just is less disconcerting after you have seen it once already. He unfortunately he almost started to fall into the rest of the badness or blandness of the rest of the film. Tucci is not used in any way that allows him to expand George into a more interesting creation and in fact I really started to find it funny the way George almost seems to teleport around to find the best bush to hide behind in a creepy fashion.
The only thing Tucci really is allowed to do is act like a creep, and their a simply more interesting and memorable film creeps than Tucci's George Harvey. A problem though actually arises from him acting like a creep, since it seems there is too much of a delay in anyone suspecting him, and frankly how couldn't you suspect him. I think this would actually been a more memorable performance if Tucci seemed more outwardly normal as George Harvey. This bad decision to make him as creepy as possible though really just shows the ineptness of the direction.
Now I do want to state that Tucci is not exactly bad, in fact he probably gave the exact performance that the director wanted, but this could have been far more than it is. He simply does not make for that memorable of a villain, and what is notable about him is mostly the way he looks. Also the film fails to create the necessary sympathy for the victim since Susie Salmon mispronounces Laurence Olivier name as Laurence Oliver, and calls him a loser HOW DARE SHE!!!! Anyways back to Tucci, not a bad performance but after watching it again it does not have the visceral effect one expects from a performance like this.