After accidentally touching an unknown drug, Taylor Briggs (Billy Zane)
begins having flashbacks to the life of someone else -- a child
abductor who has never been caught. Can he put the pieces together and
solve the crime before the kidnapper abducts again?
I have said in other reviews that Billy Zane really makes a movie. My trust in that statement was fractured after seeing "The Mad" (though I don't blame Zane), but once more restored after this picture. He appears in practically every scene. While not the greatest film you'll see (it has a very made-for-TV or straight-to-video feel about it), the plot is interesting and the characters likable. Billy Zane, of course, helps tremendously by being the evil twin of Ben Affleck.
It also helps to have Dennis Hopper play Taylor's foster father Max Lichtenstein, although his only purpose in this film is to show up at random times with a few beers and cigars. Oh well, he's still better here than he was in "Land of the Dead". "Max," says Hopper, "is a guy whose wife has died and he's sort of coasting through life a bit like a ghost. But it's a really warm relationship that he has with Taylor -- something genuine and real." That's a good quote. And Hopper knows Max, if the rumors are true, because he spent weeks studying his lines despite being a relatively small character -- residents around town would catch him in restaurants reading. Tricia Helfer was also pretty decent, though not particularly noteworthy.
This was a plot-driven film, to be sure. Rated R for "language and frightening images", there's no nudity or gore here. The frightening images, as far as I can tell, are just a person in a mask. Nothing really disturbing. There's a photo album that may be thought as disturbing by some. I thought it was deviously brilliant.
The plot was excellent because it's not only a thriller but also a mystery (a race against time to solve a child abduction case, while the lead also must find how he's connected to the kidnapper). There's even sub-mysteries (such as how the lead's girlfriend knows about the kidnappings) that might leave you guessing. And random shout-out: nice use of a cell phone as a flashlight. We've all been there.
I give this film credit because I thought I had it figured out before it was half over. My two guesses about certain plots were close, but ultimately both wrong. There's a few twists you won't see coming. The "big reveal" is disappointing only if you're being overly critical, as they sort of dump it all on you at once for no reason. But I thought it was okay.
I wouldn't have rented this film on my own, but having been asked to review it, I'm glad I did. If you're scanning the new releases and find this, you could do much worse. I saw it with two friends and we all seemed to enjoy it, so it caters to a wider range than just myself. And Billy Zane and Dennis Hopper are in it. Worth checking out if you want a story different from your usual serial killers and splatter films.
Drama / Horror / Thriller
Drama / Horror / Thriller
A medical reseracher teams with a retired doctor to root around in the genetically stored memories of a serial killer.
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July 18, 2016 at 07:41 PM