Reel Shorts | Untraceable

25 01 2008

What’s the deal with crazy white characters that kidnap and torture innocent people to hide their own sick insecurities? A sick, twisted killer combines high-tech wizardry and an incredibly creative imagination to maximum effect in thriller, “Untraceable.”

Tapping into society’s sick voyeuristic obsession, the filmmakers craft a story of a jaded, seen-it-all FBI agent Jennifer Marsh (Diane Lane) who investigates Internet crimes. One day she receives a tip about a site, “KillWithMe,” where people are tortured live on the net. The twist is that the more people who come to the site to watch the tortured victims, the faster they die.

Along with her good-natured partner, Griffin (Colin Hanks) and Portland detective, Eric Box (Billy Burke), the group try to locate a killer who understands how to manipulate technology in ways that they can only dream about making him virtually untraceable. Unable to match his technology skills, Marsh must rely on old-fashioned methods to stop the killer.

If you’ve seen “Feardotcom” or any of the “Saw” films, the prospect of people being innocently tortured isn’t breaking any new ground. The filmmakers get a little credit because the killer utilizes such creative measures with each victim – which you’ve got to admire.

Lane tries valiantly, but one can only do so much when the script doesn’t give you much to work with. “Untraceable” is mildly entertaining but it doesn’t give you anything that you haven’t seen countless times in other films.

By the time the film limps to it’s predictable conclusion you’ll feel like you too were held captive and tortured – and that’s way more terrifying than anything in this patchwork and rushed story. That’s a shame, but Lane really deserves much better.

Grade: C-

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