The Factory was filmed in 2008 and is finally being released on DVD this week. Since it has been five years since filming completed, and the release was delayed since 2011, there has to be obvious reasons why. Upon initial assessment, it’s simple: the set up of The Factory is solid, but the execution is somewhat flawed…until the ending.
Detective Mike Fletcher (John Cusack) and his partner Kelsey Walker (Jennifer Carpenter) have been on the case of a possible serial killer who abducts young prostitutes. Meanwhile, Fletcher’s teenage daughter, Abby, is obsessed with her boyfriend and conveniently sneaks out one night only to be abducted by our serial killer, Gary. The kicker is the fact that this psycho works at the local hospital and has been stealing drugs over the last three years. Mostly supplements and fertility treatments. Yes, Gary is abducting young women to impregnate them. Abby Fletcher is already pregnant.
The delay of the release of The Factory can be immediately indentified if one remembers the current events of the time it could’ve been released. In 2009, Jaycee Dugard was found after having been kept prisoner by convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido since 1991. Also found were her two daughters by Garrido. However, this could merely be coincidence since there is plenty to be said about The Factory that could explain its delay.
The main flaw with the film is that it’s simply not suspenseful enough. There is no sense of dread after an initial set up of Abby’s abduction. From there, we never really fear for her life because we know her father will end up finding her. The relationship between Fletcher and Walker seems to have no substance and it takes the entire movie to find out exactly why. The Factory seems to drudge along never really meandering or taking any unsuspected turns for 90% of the 104 minutes. Even with a snowstorm thrown in to give a sense of doom and one of the abductees going into premature labor with only a cesarean as a means to deliver, there really is no terror involved in the movie. The downfall of Fletcher’s home life is never fully explained. The hint of subplot of Walker’s inability to have children is touched on and looks like it will never be brought to fruition- then POW! The Factory ends with an amazingly hands-on-head/jaw-dropping finish. It’s a shame, too, because Jennifer Carpenter is an amazing actress that deserves more prominent roles to display her abilities.
The movie itself is not shot in any fancy format, nor does the editing or score add anything too exciting. It’s a shame since the basis is something that has happened and been heavily exploited in the media. With that, and a bit more editing, there is a chance it could have had a better release than DVD five years later. It is understandable, though, as for the first 90 minutes I was only mildly entertained, wondering where the film was heading despite the boredom. The DVD offers no perks, either. Just the film in multiple languages. While it has a very great lull for the majority of running time, the ending of The Factory is worth the watch.