When Untraceable was first released in the cinema, I'm sure a lot of people thought that this was just another "gorno" Saw rip off. In some senses it is, but in others it gives us something much more intelligent rather than blood and guts. It portrays the true darker side of the internet for which I fear and know there are websites that thrive of the death and torture of others. I'm not saying these sites kill but they capitalise off the dead and that's just as bad as these people who view and enjoy such content are just as guilty as those doing the killing.
Anyway, enough of the sentimentality I think I need to get around to talking about the movie. The original trailer for this movie tried to make it look like a sick horror movie that puts a twist on the already popular Saw franchise. Let me tell you, it's nothing of the sort. It's a very different breed of torture movie and in a sense, that's a good thing. Diane Lane plays FBI Agent Jennifer Marsh, who works in the internet devision locating and shutting down illegally operating sites. One day while in the office she's given a site to look at, a site which she thinks is just another routine run is something she's never encountered before. The site is called KillWithMe.com and it has real people placed in torturous situations and the more people that visit the site, the quicker the victim dies. The site, even in the watchful eye of the FBI is "Untraceable" and can't even be shut down due to the use of a number of clever internet tactics.
This is quite a slow running movie and is placed more around the characters rather than the torture aspect of the story. This, in my opinion is a very good thing as it allows for character progression and much better story telling. The movie isn't perfect but it gives us something that we can all learn from and that's be cautious of the internet. Sure, there aren't sites out there that kill people... Yet. A line in the movie summed the feeling up perfectly when it was said that soon TV will broadcast live executions and even charge people to watch it. I have no doubt that this is a possibility, just look at the number of movies that focus on blood and guts released in the last 5 years. We're being desensitised to violence, blood and guts and it will come to a point where we come to view another persons death as mere entertainment. Watch this film as it's a worthy 1 and a half hour spent but don't expect anything edge of your seat dramatic.
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About the reviewer
Steven Stewart (Steveo)
Currently studying Law at University, my main interests revolve around Politics. I read quite a lot and love learning about History. Not just the history of a specific time, place and person, but I'm … more
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UntraceablefusesSawwithThe Netin a perverse yet moralistic story about a psychopath who broadcasts acts of torture over the internet--all to better reveal the twisted underbelly of the American public, who hasten the victims' deaths simply by looking at the website. FBI agent Jennifer Marsh (Diane Lane, her mature-sexy mojo tamped down but still simmering in the corners of her eyes and the nape of her neck) launches a cyberhunt for the killer, only to find herself and her team caught up in his murderous scheme. It's hard to make tapping on a keyboard and staring at a computer screen exciting, butUntraceabledoes its best by making Marsh and her cybercrimebusting partner (Colin Hanks,King Kong) rattle off cascades of jaunty techno-jargon and do impressive bits of long-distance surveillance. The movie aims for the audience that flocked to see Ashley Judd in thrillers likeKiss the GirlsandDouble Jeopardy, but it's hard to say if fans of Lane's romantic fare like Under the Tuscan Sun or Must Like Dogs will enjoy the queasy violence. Nonetheless, the cast--including Mary Beth Hurt (The World According to Garp) as Marsh's mother--does a solid job and the movie clips along at an aggressive pace, maintaining tension throughout. --Bret Fetzer