25 September 2007 | avedon23
Moody but suspenseful crime story
Dr. Richard Murray (Jeff Fahey), the angsty, guilt-ridden protagonist, is getting messages but from where? That's the central question in this suspenseful mystery story about a serial killer on the loose. The messages on his computer beg for help. Are they from beyond the grave? From his own subconscious? From someone playing with his mind? This question is a large part of the suspense.
This is a mystery story with a twist. If you're expecting CSI: England, you won't find it in this film. It deliberately sets a dark and moody tone. In turn artsy, eerie and somber, the only "comic" relief is Detective Collins, the serial killer specialist (Martin Kove) brought in from Los Angeles. He isn't intended to be funny but he is because he is such a cliché of the English view of an American "cowboy" brash and obnoxious. However irritating the characterwhich is very, his brashness makes a certain amount of sense if you view it as a defense mechanism. Dealing with serial killers every day is a bit straining on the psyche. Might make you a bit testy too.
My main problem with Collins is not his obnoxiousness but his relevance. England has lots of serial killer experts. Why bring in an outsider? Seems gratuitous to me. But at least the forensic psychiatrist is English.
Then there is Dr. Robert Golding (Bruce Payne), the medical examiner. Alas, not in the film long enough for Bruce Payne fans but his character, with that crisp and resonant English accent that he doesn't always use, will please Payne fans. Like the movie, Dr. Golding is moody and somber. But unlike Dr McCort, Payne's character from Asylum of the Damned, Dr, Golding doesn't do unauthorized experiments in the basement!
Now, the big question for me was is the film psychologically sound from a forensic point of view? Leaving aside the supernatural possibilities, I was pleased to see that the answer is yes. I wasn't sure at first but ultimately the serial killer does fit the classic profile. Since this a suspense film,I can't tell you why. That would kill (pardon the expression) thesuspense.
Overall, I found the film suspenseful and worth watching. I did think the ending was a bit hokey but maybe you'll see it differently. A lot is left to the individual viewer to decide. Were the messages supernatural or something else? Decide for yourself.