WARNING: Spoiler Review! If you haven’t seen this movie and plan on it, you’ve been warned.
I went to Charlottesville for the night last night and ended up going to see Untraceable at the Downtown Mall movie theater after dinner. I went in expecting to see a thriller, but I got more than I bargained for.
Diane Lane stars as FBI Special Agent Jennifer Marsh, who works in a field office dealing with internet crimes. A tipster alerts the unit that someone has posted a website that streams live video showing innocent people getting tortured to death. The more people log onto the website, the faster the victim dies.
The first victim is a kitten stuck to a sticky mouse trap. The killer then moves on to people he’s kidnapped. The first person is drained of his blood, the second is burned to death with heat lamps, and the third is bathed in battery acid. Each time, the victim dies more quickly than the last because the number of people on the site keeps growing, just out of the public’s sheer curiosity. Marsh is the fourth and final kidnapped individual, and is hung upside down over a garden tiller and lowered more rapidly as viewership increases. Just before she is lowered to her death, she starts swinging herself back and fourth enough to grab onto a rafter and free herself. She proceeds to shoot her captor, and the FBI, recognizing her house on the streaming web video, comes to her rescue, only to find she’s already killed him.
We later learn that the unnamed killer started the site because the local news station aired his father’s suicide, caught on a traffic copter over a major bridge, repeatedly and he wanted revenge. All of the victims are tied to either the news station or FBI.
Overall, the movie was very well done. It somewhat portrays the FBI as lazy people who sit around and stare at computers all day, but for the most part, it was an excellent portrayal of a terrible situation that could very much be reality with all the internet technologies we have today. I found the storyline to be compelling and action-driven, with no dull points or erroneous material. If you’re looking for a fist-clincher that keeps you right on the edge of your seat, and can deal with a few scenes of intense gore and blood, check out Untraceable.