About Features Reviews Community Screenings Videos Studios Home
May2008
DVD REVIEW: Untraceable

by Kam Williams

DVD REVIEW:
Untraceable


 

Cast: Diane Lane, Zachary Hoffman, Joseph Cross, Billy Burke, Colin Hanks
Directors: Gregory Hoblit
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Language: English
Subtitles: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Number of discs: 1
Rating: R
Studio: Sony Pictures
DVD Release Date: May 13, 2008
Run Time: 101 minutes

   

 

Diane Lane’s Grisly Cat-and-Mouse Thriller Comes to DVD

FBI Agent Jennifer Marsh (Diane Lane) is a widow who always finds herself apologizing to her young daughter (Perla Haney-Jardine) for putting career before family. Fortunately, grandma (Mary Beth Hurt) comes in handy when Jen and her partner, Griffin (Colin Hanks), have to work overtime tracking down the creep who executed a cat on a website called KillWithMe.com.

Trouble is the sicko is internet savvy, and knows how to prevent the cops from determining his IP address. In addition, every time the authorities shut down his site, he has it back up and running in a matter of minutes.

Worse, it isn’t long before this sadist escalates to humans. Promising that the more people watch, the faster he will die, the next broadcast airs the slow death of a man tied to a rack with the words “KILL WITH ME” carved right into his chest. This development has the cops wondering whether the murder might have been staged. That question is soon answered when his next victim’s (Tim de Zarn) grieving widow tearfully explains that her husband was no kinky sex freak, but had been lured to the torture chamber by a classified ad.

With each ensuing victim, the website’s ratings soar, as more and more viewers tune-in. So, unfolds Untraceable, a compelling, cat-and-mouse caper directed by Gregory Hoblit. Regrettably, this psychological thriller’s well-earned tension is ultimately undone by a practically comical set of improbable developments during the denouement.

Furthermore, praiseworthy acting performances by a capable ensemble headed by Diane Lane and Colin Hanks are all squandered in service of a hypocritical morality play. Is it really ethical for a film to warn of the irresistible appeal of online snuff films while it simultaneously indulges, practically pornographically, in graphic displays of the same sort of kinky perversion?

Unwatchable.