The premise of this film sounded interesting, and it had a solid cast too. But for some reason I never heard of it. I also enjoyed the director’s previous film Shadow of the Vampire, a fun and demented take on the making of Nosferatu. So I figured a serial killer film featuring Ben Kingsley was going to be good. But was I just falling into the cleverly laid trap by a criminal mastermind?
Thomas Mackelway (Aaron Eckhart) is an FBI profiler who has been having a rough time on the job. His last case ended up falling apart because he let his emotions carry him away and vital evidence could not be used to convict the killer. Since then Mackelway has been suffering from headaches and strange hallucinations. Then he receives a letter from a man who claims to know what is going on in his latest case.
Mackelway begins to suspect that this man, O’Ryan (Ben Kingsley) may be a serial killer. Mackelway’s partner Fran (Carrie-Anne Moss) sees that Mackelway is starting to slip into an obsession with catching O’Ryan, but there are other troubling signs. The murder victims seem to be less then innocent. On top of this Macklway’s visions may be connecting him in a strange psychic way to O’Ryan. At the center of the mystery is the deadly killer known only as Suspect Zero.
- An intriguing concept lies at the center of the film.
- A very effective mood and some atmospheric scenes
- A couple of moments with Kingsley really creep under your skin
- Feels like it was longer and was edited with a chainsaw
- Some of the acting feels too broad
- While it comes together in the end, the final moments don’t deliver a punch
Ugh, what a frustrating film this was. I can see a really good movie buried inside, but the final result is so fragmented, so off kilter and so choppy that it is hard to recommend. Some of the visuals are really unsettling and creepy. Sometimes the performances are really handled well, especially when Kingsley is keeping things low key and intense. But other times characters seem to be ranting and raving with no build up. And that is my biggest problem, it feels like all the tension building scenes were chopped out, leaving us with the procedural moments and the finales, but none of the middle material. If you are into serial killer movies, this makes an OK rental. But it feels like it wanted to be like the disturbingly unique Cure, but missed the boat.
Scores (out of 5)
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