PUBLISHED: 14:42 29 February 2008 | UPDATED: 13:13 24 August 2010
© 2007 Lakeshore Entertainment Group LLC. All rights reserved.
Untraceable (18) www.killwithme.co.uk Although this cyber killer thriller grabs you from the outset with an intriguing premise and a good cast, ultimately you re left thinking that its elusive title refers to the suspense and
Although this cyber killer thriller grabs you from the outset with an intriguing premise and a good cast, ultimately you're left thinking that its elusive title refers to the suspense and the plot.
Directed by Gregory Hoblit (Fracture, Primal Fear), the film follows Portland-based FBI cybercrime specialist Jennifer Marsh (Diane Lane, pictured), whose nightly routine of shutting down child porn perverts and online fraudsters is livened up with the emergence of www.killwithme.com, a nasty website on which a kitten is tortured to death.
Even more disturbing than the murderous deed itself is the fact that the speed at which it is executed is directly related to the number of people visiting the site - the more hits, the faster the kill.
The site proves more problematic when Marsh discovers that as fast as she shuts it down, it keeps popping up, and things get really serious when a bound man appears on the site and is systematically bled to death in a disturbingly imaginative manner.
Aided by fellow agent Griffin Dowd (Colin Hanks) and local detective Eric Box (Billy Burke), Marsh hunts for the elusive murderer, but as she closes in on her target, he deviously hacks his way into her personal life, all the while killing his victims in increasingly creative and faster fashion.
It's far from an original cinematic experience, blatantly borrowing themes from the Saw films, Se7en, and Silence Of The Lambs in particular, but the story does have an original twist in the way that it effectively makes the voyeuristic web users who log into watch the grisly proceedings accomplices to murder. It certainly makes you think that a morbid curiosity literally could kill a cat (or worse).
Lane's engaging lead performance as the gutsy heroine anchors the film nicely, but her talents and that of Hanks and Burke just can't save the poorly developed script from a flagging second half that sees the thrill of the chase wane long before the underwhelming finale.
Joseph Cross's unconvincing web geek bad guy doesn't help matters either, his dull presence failing to meet the expectations raised by his actions. The same can be said of his contrived motivations for doing what he does.
Wwwait and see this on DVD.