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Untraceable leaves viewers unimpressed

Yemi Lotan | Interrobang | Lifestyles | February 4th, 2008


The idea that people can log unto a website and watch another person literally die is chilling. This is the premise behind Gregory Hoblit's latest film Untraceable. Diane Lane (Jennifer Marsh) leads a compelling cast comprising of Colin Hanks (Orange County) who plays a comedic FBI agent who goes searching for love in all the wrong places. Mary Beth Hurt (Marsh's mom), Perla Haney-Jardine (Marsh's young daughter), and Billy Burke —who ultimately becomes the emotional support system for the rest of the film, acting as a local Portland cop striving to catch the tech savvy psycho killer as well.

Obviously, at the start of the pic the psychotic killer behind is anonymous. He begins his killing spree by trapping a kitten and promising to kill the it once his untraceable sites gets a certain number of hits. He stays true to his promise, and before long, just as Special Agent Marsh presumes; the fanatic webmaster begins to use human victims. Essentially the more hits his website attracts, the faster (and more gruesomely) his captives die.

What's most remarkable is how Lane proves herself as an effective lead woman. In an industry that celebrates wrinkle-free skin and enduring beauty, Lane essentially shines as a worn-out FBI cop, who spends long hours on the job, and as a result has little or no time for any makeup. On the other hand, this look compliments her role brilliantly. Having lost her cop husband to the job, she plays a single mum trying to raise a young daughter on her own (hence might explain her constant tired look?)

Sadly, the filmmakers leave a gaping hole in their narrative by not disclosing the ultimate fates of two key characters during their otherwise effective wrap-up. All that said, Gregory Hoblit (Primal Fear, Fracture) knows the “crime” routine by heart, thus production values of this rather predictable flick maintain a sharp, gloomy and somewhat grisly look.
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