Untraceable

Untraceable

(2008)

Ever been drawn to the bad news stories on the internet? FBI agent Jennifer Marsh (Diane Lane) knows just how you feel. She is tasked with hunting down a seemingly untraceable serial killer who posts live videos of his victims on the world-wide web. The method of murder depends on how many people log on to view the killing. As time runs out, the cat and mouse chase becomes more personal.

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Flicks Review

I’m tired of these sadistic horror movies. I just don’t enjoy sitting in a cinema watching people burn to death, get hacked to pieces, or have their eyeballs melted with a blowtorch.

There are, however, many wackjobs who just lap this stuff up. Good for them. Their fascination with violence at a distance is what the writers of this latest slice of vapid torture-porn drew inspiration from when they created this story of online hysteria.

The premise goes that some loony has set up an untraceable website (there’s some techno-jargon explanation about registering the IP address in Russia) which has a webcam that displays a victim being tortured to death. The more ‘hits’ the website gets, the faster the victim dies - a marketing strategy that Flicks.co.nz might pass on for the moment.

The task for FBI agent Jennifer Marsh (a strong-given-the-material Diane Lane) and her team is then to keep the public largely unaware of the site (which they can’t shut down – again, there’s a techno-jargon reason for this) until they’ve located the killer.

Cashing in on a net phenomenon about the curiousity for the macabre (just recently was there a video circulating on Facebook featuring a cyclist being squashed to death by a truck) the film certainly reflects a dark trend. It’s just too bad that the issue is in the hands of yet another self-righteous killer (reminiscent of Saw’s Jigsaw) who wants to teach our immoral society a lesson for reasons that aren’t entirely believable and are certainly hypocritical.

The acting is decent, with Colin Hanks providing a likeable presence as Marsh’s FBI partner. The film is good-looking and there’s some reasonable gore for those so inclined. But the sudden ending leaves us unsatisfied, and the unpleasant and uninspiring Untraceable feels like a wasted opportunity.


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 1 ratings, 1 reviews
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If you want to see this movie, don't watch the trailer. As with many thriller type movies, too much is given away in the trailer. I think if I hadn't seen the trailer I would have found it a lot more thrilling. In fact even the flicks synopsis is too blatant. The film itself was still quite thrilling for a squeamish scaredy-cat like me, with some really graphic horror scenes coupled with edge-of-your-seat stress. I liked the originality of the main storyline, however I was disappointed that... More some elements of the story became a little cliché and predictable as the movie progressed. I can't say any more as I don't want to ruin the movie for you with plot details!Hide


The Press Reviews

16% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • BBC

    Diane Lane does away with glam in Untraceable. She tosses back her unkempt locks and crawls into the darkest, dingiest corners of cyberspace to find a killer who invites surfers to log on and participate. Even in this bedraggled state, she lends a touch of class to an otherwise tacky thriller by Gregory Hoblit. Still, that's not enough to distract from a plot which, despite a hi-tech premise, feels as if it's been patched together using 'auto-fill' screenwriting software. Full Review

  • Embarrassingly for the film's makers, when it came to the crucial denouement, the audience roused from its benumbed stupor only to laugh out loud derisively at the preposterous final act in this tawdry play. Not the desired result for a serious crime thriller, one imagines. Full Review

  • A competent suspenser, helped by the always-dependable Diane Lane, but it suffers by following the modern thriller playbook to the letter. Full Review

  • Highly watchable, anchored sturdily by Lane's convincing performance. Full Review

  • You may view Untraceable, as I do, as a repugnant example of the voyeurism it pretends to condemn. Full Review

  • This film isn't for the faint-hearted, the torture methods used in this film are disturbing and Hoblit hasn't held back from making them as gruesome as he can. Full Review

  • Unfolding like a better-than-average episode of a first-rate TV police procedural, Untraceable is a satisfying slice of solidly crafted meat-and-potatoes filmmaking. Full Review