Director: Gregory Hoblit
Cast: Diane Lane, Billy Burke, Colin Hanks,
Joseph Cross, Mary Beth Hurt
RunTime: 1 hr 41 mins
Released By: Shaw
Rating: NC-16 (Some Violence)
Opening Day: 3 April 2008
Within the FBI, there exists a division dedicated to investigating
and prosecuting criminals on the internet. Welcome to the
front lines of the war on cybercrime, where Special Agent
Jennifer Marsh (Diane Lane) has seen it all... until now.
tech-savvy internet predator is displaying his graphic murders
on his own website – and the fate of each of his tormented
captives is left in the hands of the public: the more hits
his site gets, the faster his victims die. When this game
of cat and mouse becomes personal, Marsh and her team must
race against the clock to track down this technical mastermind
who is virtually untraceable.
Sigh, another movie with a decent premise gone wrong. The
basis of this slash fest thriller was a killer, until it messed
itself up somewhere during the 101-minute movie’s halfway
mark. Imagine this ingenious scenario – a website which
allows users to log in to see someone die “live”.
The more hit the website gets, the faster the victim dies
in front of your eyes. Picture the thrills and spills sadistic
computer users will get by rushing to log into the website
– it’s chilling just to think about it.
to see it on screen – that’s scary. Diane Lane
plays a secret service agent who deals with cyber crimes.
Just as she thinks she has seen it all, she gets involved
in a deadly game with a serial killer who taps on human beings’
curiosity to seek sick thrills. The murderer has created a
website where he violent and painful murders are executed
“live” online. Want to see the victim die quicker
and more violently? Get all your friends to log online.
would propose my esteemed webmaster to launch a similar mechanism
on this website to increase hit rates, but that would be unethical
of ethics and morality, this movie helmed by director Gregory
Hoblit’s (Fracture. Frequency) does make you ponder
about the dark side of human nature, and whether you would
join the motley crew in assisting the killer murder the victim
at a faster rate. Seeing the count meter escalate at a heart-thumping
rate during the murder scenes does make you feel the guilty
desire to be one of the accomplices if this scenario were
to happen in real life. The themes of cyber wellness are relevant
to today’s generation, considering the ever-evolving
advancements in science and technology we are surrounded by.
the Saw-inspired methods of killing help to make this thriller
a nail-biting experience for fans of the slash fest genre.
Without giving too much of the “fun” away (I can’t
help but use that word, but it does indicate my gleefully
sadistic nature whenever I see those scenes on screen), let’s
just say you won’t see sauna baths and battery water
in the same light ever again.
just as things are all going well in the content and thrills
departments, the flick decides to pull a fast one by introducing
a more than contrived turn of events which spoils the potential
of the movie. Whether it’s the killer’s motives
for his sick acts, the talented agents’ unbelievable
skills of spotting clues or the single move that led to the
police force’s ultimate victory, you’ll feel the
filmmakers’ slipshod attempts to end the movie.
is a waste of talents, actually – because the ever reliable
Lane does give a decent performance as the cyber crime agent
with a heart. Supporting her fine performance are the somewhat
bland Billy Burke (Feast of Love) and Colin Hanks (King Kong).
Playing the role of the psychotic killer is Joseph Cross (Running
with Scissors), who looks truly a fanatic and troubled teenager.
grab the edge of your seats as the ecstasy-filled thrills
heighten, but scoff at the gimmicky twist that is served at
the movie’s finale.
wasted opportunity to explore the seductive lures of the cyber
Review by John Li