Thursday, May 29, 2008


Untraceable is one of those scary movies that is even more scary because it could actually happen in real life. And the fact that it could happen makes it kind of a sad world that we live in. Seriously.

The movie takes place from the point of view of Jennifer Marsh, who is an agent in the FBI’s Cybercrime division. She and her partner spend much of their time tracking down criminals who steal identities and prey on underage children…all online. In short, they get to get the bad guy without ever having to physically confront the bad guy. If I ever decide that I want to career in law enforcement, that’s the way I’d like to go.

Except that one night while on the job, Jennifer gets a tip to visit a site that is unlike anything she’s ever seen before. Instead of embezzlers and perverts, Jennifer finds a killer on the site…or at least she finds a killer’s victim. Her first visit to the site features a live stream of a kitten, which is killed, live on the internet while people watch. In fact, the more people that log onto the site, the faster the kitten dies.

As you can imagine, the killer’s victims escalate to humans. Jennifer and her partners are left helplessly watching as people are tortured and killed on a site that is always changing its address…i.e…it’s untraceable, and they can’t find out who is behind it.

The site features a counter that shows how many people are watching, and clearly states that the more people log on, the more severe the torture and deaths will be. Surely some of them think it’s merely a hoax…but some of them know what is going on…which is freaky. How many people out there would WANT to watch something like that? Bleah. In essence each person that logs on to the site is an accomplice to murder…and they are told as much in press conferences and by police. And yet, people keep logging on.

As Jennifer closes in on clues that lead her to the killer, the killer moves closer to Jennifer. You know this is going to happen…it’s movie after all…and eventually her partner and even her family are put at risk. It’s up to Jennifer to find him and stop him before he can get to them.

I thought the movie was a effective thriller. I liked the fact that, while it was very disturbing, it was not as “gruesome” as it might have been. Anymore, it seems like movies just get thrills out of blood and gore, but Untraceable was definitely less violent and gross than it could have been. The scariest thing imaginable, after all, is not physical pain…but what is going on in the minds of those who choose to inflict it.