When I took a look at the cover of this movie I was immediately interested. With the words “A stunning film. A sensational rollercoaster and cinematic revolution” I wasn’t too fazed, as they also said on the Wendigo cover that it was the most original horror movie made since The Blair Witch Project. But with a cast that included LL Cool J, Christian Slater, Eion Bailey, Will Kemp, Johnny Lee Miller and Val Kilmer, well… that got my attention! Not only that but the movie is my kind of topic and that’s serial killers.
This one is a little different from your average serial killer movie. There is no madman out on the loose luring kids into dark alleyways and taunting police by sending packages of bodily organs or going after the leading FBI agent’s daughter as revenge. Imagine yourself training in a program to become an FBI profiler. You are one of seven other highly qualified candidates and you are all in competition to impress the head of the FBI profiling division (Val Kilmer) doing the selecting as to who gets in and who doesn’t get into the FBI. Firstly, if you want to catch a killer, you must think like a killer. So you get dumped on an island, isolated from the rest of the world (just like a killer feels isolated from the rest of the world). There are props all over the island, mannequins of people and their pets scattered everywhere and a small community but everything is still. Tomorrow at 8am, one of these mannequins is going to be murdered and you and your 7 other FBI wannabes will be assessing the crime scene and trying to catch a killer. But what happens when one of your colleagues gets killed? You are the profiler after all; you know this wasn’t an accident. You know it even more when another dies, and another. Suddenly you better stop thinking this isn’t for real and start thinking it is or you could wind up being the next one in the only morgue this island has. You’ve gotta use every single skill you’ve learnt, not to impress anyone this time, but to save yourself and get two steps ahead of this guy.
Well, I wouldn’t go as far as to say it was a ‘stunning’ film. But it wasn’t bad either. It has a few flaws, a few parts that could be more explained, and I hate reading spoilers in reviews so I wont go into too much detail on what they were but I will warn you that they are there. The strong cast does help this film a lot though. The acting plays a large part in making the movie work as they all start pointing fingers (and guns) at each other and trusting nobody. You think you’ve got it all figured out then it turns on you and you are left wondering again. With every new death comes another small clue, but you probably wont put these clues together until the end and if that is the case, then the movie has worked.
I’d like to point out a few negatives. The character development is minimal, but it’s not often strong in movies like these. You could say that this is its major downfall, where it was clever to keep you guessing, you also cant do anything but guess when its so vague. The film also leads you on these wild goose chases from time to time that is completely irrelevant to the film. You realise later on that parts were slightly developed that were never fully explained or put to any real purpose. Another thing to keep in mind, this has a real action feel to it. Don’t think you will be watching a strict horror film here, although there are a lot of horror themes in it, it is largely an action based film as well. Although it is very predictable in some places, its unpredictable in others. It did manage to surprise me a few times and a couple of the kills were a hell of a lot of fun. The feeling of isolation was well developed, the whole movie was a game of cat and mouse which overall, just made it a good time. Don’t expect anything like se7en, because it is far from it but if its something you think you’d like, then chances are you will and its not a bad way to pass an hour and a half at all. I recommend it.