Before seeing this movie, I read a good way to describe it… and after seeing it, it still holds true: This movie is basically like mixing Saw with CSI. Jennifer Marsh (Diane Lane) and Griffin Dowd (Colin Hanks) work for the FBI’s cyber crime division. One day Marsh gets a tip for a website called killwithme.com. All that’s there is a live stream of a kitten trapped in a glue-trap for rats. Soon after the kitten dies and the website gains a bit of notoriety, the cat is replaced with a man who is hooked up with this blood thinner stuff, basically turning him into a super-hemophiliac. The catch is that the more people who visit the site, the more of that blood thinner goes into his body. But when the guy dies and is replaced by another, they realize that this killer is just going to keep going, and the site is going to get more visits, and people are going to die faster and faster.

I was actually pleasantly surprised with this movie, though I’m not sure if that’s because I went in with low expectations. Usually movies like this lately haven’t been too excellent, and they’re made even worse by a cheesy and predictable twist ending. As I’ve mentioned before, twists can either make or break a movie, and most of the time they break it. And I’ll be honest: I thought I had the movie figured out from the trailer alone, because every thriller these days has a twist ending. Except this one. Yes, I admit that I was wrong in this case. This movie did not have some wacky, predictable twist ending. You actually start seeing the killer’s face about halfway into the movie. But that didn’t make the movie bad, oh no. It was almost a bit refreshing.

And the movie was pretty suspenseful, too. It wasn’t the most edge-of-your-seat thriller ever, and it starts off a bit slow, but it does keep your attention. There is some gore, and the movie is actually pretty hardcore in some instances. The ways people died did remind me somewhat of how they might in a Saw movie; they are inventive and brutal. Also, like Saw, their deaths don’t come directly from the bad guy himself. Though, unlike Saw movies (except Saw 3), there’s no way for them to get out of their situation alive without outside help.

Another Saw parallel could be the social commentary, and the fact that the ‘killer’ does have a message and reasoning for doing what he does. The movie really showcases how American society (and it makes sure to point out to you that it is purely American society) is drawn to violence and the ‘car wreck scenario’ (you see it’s horrible, but can’t help but watch), as well as how people will do anything for a bit of fame and fortune. It’s pretty in-your-face, especially when they show the comments being posted on the website from the people watching.

The characters were good, although I only felt attached to Marsh and Griffin, and you do care if they die or not. The acting was pretty average, of course. It’s just a common thriller, so we aren’t expecting Oscar-worthy performances. But they kept you in the movie and nothing really detracted.

I suppose the only real downer was that, although it lacked the twist ending, it basically followed the detective thriller formula… you know such-and-such and this-and-that are going to happen sometime in the movie, and they do. And there were way too many Chekhov’s Gun’s that pointed to things that would happen later. But I still liked the ending, as it re-enforced the social commentary one last time. It’s a nice little thriller, and it’s slightly better than average. I give it A Keanu ‘Whoa’.

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