I first read about this movie in Cinefex, a special effects journal, and as an fx showcase, it’s quite a good film. However, as a film, it’s a nasty and exploititive piece of trash.
I believe that movies about serial killers are under particular obligation to be good films, otherwise the serial killing thing is a uniquely cheap-and-nasty way to build suspense. As is the case here.
(Brief plot synopsis: ‘therapist’ and professional Woman With An Arse, Jennifer Lopez, must Journey Into The Mind of A Serial Killer, using an experimental (read: risky! 100-to-1 shot! She’ll never make it out alive!) technique in order to save his latest victim, who is trapped in a cell (The Cell, get it?) which is slowly filling with water.)
Lopez is alright, but not great. Vincent D’Onofrio, as the serial killer, is quite ably grim. The woman who plays ‘his latest victim’ is excellent. She does a very convincing line in watery terror.
The only two principals who actually shine, though, are Marianne Jean-Baptiste as some doctor-or-other, and Vince Vaughn, who has charisma and presence enough (and more than enough for this film) for a male lead, and its surprising that he’s mostly done comedies.
You could probably guess the plot twists; they save His Latest Victim in the nick of time; Lopez manages to console the serial killer’s inner child, and they all live happily after (except for the serial killer (who dies)).
The (slightly) redeeming feature of this film, (apart from Vince Vaughn’s performance), is the imagery depicting the world inside Serial Killer D’Onofrio’s head. It’s beautiful and gothic and disturbing. Shame the rest of the film isn’t.