February 7, 2008

Untraceable (2008)



"FBI agent Jennifer Marsh is tasked with hunting down a seemingly untraceable serial killer who posts live videos of his victims on the Internet. As time runs out, the cat and mouse chase becomes more personal."

Horribly predictable and clich├ęd but still enjoyable if you try not to think too hard... and by "too hard", I mean "at all".

I'm very surprised that this was "R" rated. It has very little gore and the methods that the psycho uses to kill his victims are more akin to something out of "Batman" than "Saw".

To say that "Untraceable" is derivative is an understatement. There is nothing here that you haven't already seen done in another film and done a lot better too. Even the laughable techno-babble of "Hackers" is included. I'm just surprised that they didn't have big glowing screens with the words projected on the faces of the computer users as well.

Without giving too much away, there were some huge plot holes in this which unintentionally made it more of a comedy to me than a thriller. Why, for instance, didn't the police just shut the power down to the city for a few hours? That would certainly have screwed-up the evil genius' death machines and his internet connection especially if he was using a laptop. There's no way his battery life would have lasted longer than 30 minutes with all that nonsense hooked up to it.

Another thing was how come the clever FBI internet woman didn't have a firewall and virus checker on her home computer? More to the point, what the hell was she doing letting her 8 year old play games on it in the first place? It totally ruined the credibility of the character just to put in a pointless filler scene in of the psycho stalking the little girl with a webcam. Does nobody think these things through when they make a film? Obviously not.

Anyway, I really didn't see this as a real horror film at all. It reminded me a lot of "Copycat" for some reason especially as it uses one or two set pieces that all the other "cop v. serial killer" films have. As a thriller, I suppose it's entertaining but it's just not original enough to be memorable. 2 out of 10.

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