2008-02-15 / Community

MovieScope

'Untraceable' - Cyber Serial Killer
Review By Robert Snyder

The new psycho killer movie, "Untraceable," is scarier than "The Silence of the Lambs" because it introduces an idea that could be copied by a real serial murderer. Thanks, Hollywood!

The mysterious bad guy is a computer genius who creates a website and invites all to join in. It's called www. killwithme.com. His victims are trussed up, gagged and placed in horribly, inventive torturous situations for the world to see via the Internet. The more viewers log on, the quicker the victim dies. So we are all to blame. Get it. A cyber Roman Coliseum, where "thumbs up" means we like to watch. The truly creepy part is that we in the audience of "Untraceable" get the feeling we are participating as well.

Much of the creepiness stems from the meticulous medically accurate script co-written by Woodmere native and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Mark R. Brinker. One victim is fried with heat lamps, while another is injected with a blood-thinner drip to make him bleed faster. Still more horrific is a death induced by sitting in a tank of water steadily mixing with sulfuric acid. We see the victim's skin peel away like wads of pink tissue paper. It's frightening to think that it took a medical doctor to arrive at such insidious details for death.

Directed by Gregory Hoblit ("Primal Fear," "Fracture"), "Untraceable" has Diane Lane in the Jody Foster part playing Special Agent Jennifer March of the F.B.I.'s cybercrime unit. Her sidekicks are geeky F.B.I. guy Griffin Dowd (Colin Hanks, Tom's son), who has the unfortunate habit of surfing the web for blind dates, and Detective Eric Box (Billy Burke), a possible, but unrealized love interest for single mother Jennifer.

If you want to want an experience almost as horrible as watching Iraqi terrorist-caused decapitations, go see "Untraceable." Just don't go if you're a real serial killer.

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