Surveillance movie review

Not the greatest title, seeing it has little to do with it

Not the greatest title, seeing it has little to do with it

After hearing a little bit of buzz about this flick from a couple of film snob knowledgeable friends who thought I’d like an ultra violent and well made thriller, I decided to find myself a copy and see what the fuss (if you can call a couple of nerdy dorks masturbating on each other about it “fuss”) was all about? Did it live up to the hype? Yes, and maybe no. Maybe?

This is a good, solid, serial killer thriller (didn’t mean to rhyme) but one that hinges on its mystery and whodunnit nature. Unfortunately, the movie makes it blatantly obvious who’s to blame for what a good 20 or 30 minutes before we’re supposed to know. Because of this, it’s less suspenseful, and more an exercise of “great, now I’m just sitting here waiting for the rest of the characters to catch up.” It’s a bit irritating and the movie would have felt a bit less insulting if they never held up the charade to begin with.

I’m not at all being condescending about the movie’s intelligence. I never went in looking for clues to figure it all out to see how smart I am. It’s just really, really bad about clue placement. Hell, it’s one giant clue. If you watch the movie, you’ll know exactly the point I’m talking about when it occurs. I guess it was supposed to be subtle, but really, it was like being hit with a car. Then backed up over and mildly molested.

Once that realization occurs the movie effectively runs out of steam. Which is unfortunate, because up until this it was rather enjoyable for what it was – a grotesque little mystery. When there wasn’t a mystery anymore, you realize it really wasn’t all that grotesque either.

It doesn’t help that nobody in the movie is the least bit likeable. I understand the intent of Ms. Lynch (oh yeah, this was made by David Lynch’s daughter) to show human nature in the worst light, but c’mon. Throw me a bone here. When the most human character is a drugged out crackwhore who’s kind of a bitch, you know you have paper thin and repugnant characters. I don’t count the little girl because I make it a point to hate most child actors.

But enough of my mundane analysis, the question anyone considering watching this is how fucking crazy is the violence? Well, unfortunately the movie isn’t really that stomach churning. I was excited to see an ultra violent serial killer story, but aside from one instance of blood spraying (which I admit was pretty damn cool) the rest of the movie deals almost exclusively with gunshots and gunshots going through juicy bits of people. Only that the juicy bits aren’t very juicy.

Still, you get to see Bill Pullman let loose and after the initial shock of seeing ID4‘s President of the United States be all weird, it’s a really welcome performance. He should play these kinds of roles more often. He can only be the older mentor/father type for so long before you wanna move out.

If I have to rate this amongst the serial killer movie pantheon, it’d be somewhere right between the awful Bone Collector and the underated Wolf Creek. If you have an hour and a half and feel up for a nice bit of ultra violence (minus the ultra) you can do far worse with your time.

This is a good, solid, serial killer thriller (didn’t mean to rhyme)
but one that hinges on its mystery and whodunnit nature. Unfortunately,
the movie makes it blatantly obvious who’s to blame for what a good 20
or 30 minutes before we’re supposed to know. Because of this, it’s less
suspenseful, and more an exercise of “great, now I’m just sitting here
waiting for the rest of the characters to catch up.”

I’m not at all being condescending to the movie’s intelligence. I never went in looking for clues to figure it all out to see how smart I am. If you watch the movie, you’ll know exactly the point I’m talking about when it occurs. I guess it was supposed to be subtle, but really, it was
like being hit with a car. Once that realization occurs the movie
effectively runs out of steam. Which is unfortunate, because up until
this it was rather enjoyable for what it was – a grotesque little
mystery.

Once there wasn’t a mystery anymore, you realize it really wasn’t all
that grotesque either.

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