Serial killer movie fetish. I guess that’s a thing and I guess I have it. There’s something so satisfying in watching these types of movies, with relatively familiar story, motives, characters and everything else. It’s like doing a really good crossword puzzle, if you’re into that sort of thing. Untraceable is a standard issue thriller with a little twist in a form of Internet gimmick. It’s going to be very interesting to watch these movies featuring online interaction in some twenty years or so, when the technology advances so much that they will seem very primitive. Starring Diane Lane and Colin Hanks, the acting was good and so were the production values, although there’s this CSI vibe that I didn’t like so much. Story is interesting and I applaud the writers for not opting for some cheap scares or milking practices, so the movie unfolds naturally. Untraceable follows the unwritten rules of the thrillers without question so you could say it’s a bit predictable, but this is the thing that makes the movie so comfortable to watch.
Jennifer Marsh is a busy woman. She’s working for FBI’s cybercrime division, mostly at night and during the day she’s raising her daughter by herself. One day the team get tip to check out a new site www.killwithme.com that’s streaming some really sick videos. First of them is a murder of a cat but soon human victims start appearing bound and placed in elaborate killing machines. The killer seems to be tech savvy and very ruthless, as FBI cannot shutdown the site because mirrors keep popping up. And so a game of cat and mouse begins.
As always it’s fun to see just how general population is fucked up and twisted, as they are watching these sick videos and even demanding more of them. Beneath the veneer of “ordinary people” lies the true, brutal animal that takes pleasure in killing and witnessing these fucked up events. Of course, movies like Saw started this whole sub-genre, with Hostel following the trend. If you’re interested in seeing something different, I recommend you check out two french movies Martyrs and Inside. They are much less formulaic and more brutal than this thriller that’s pretty much a time killer, especially considering its run-time of 100 minutes. Carried by Diane Lane and relatively interesting flow, Untraceable could be a great warm up movie, something to kick-start your horror night, so get some beers and get ready to catch some serial killers.
Director: Gregory Hoblit
Cast: Diane Lane, Billy Burke, Colin Hanks, Peter Lewis
Fun Stuff: The site used by the killer (www.killwithme.com) actually exists. It’s owned by the movie studio and it’s used to promote the movie. In it, users are taken to a replica of the FBI computer used by the character Jennifer Marsh. Her desktop gets hacked by the killer who provides the visitor with four test he/she must complete to deactivate his site.