cranky home
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

amazon.gif
Top Selling DVD     Books

BLU-RAY DVDs:
50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Robocop
Selma
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
Akira
Avatar
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Bambi
A Bug's Life
Cars
Chronicles of Narnia set
Coraline
Ghostbusters
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Ratatouille
Rio
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
combo
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE

OFCS

Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

 DISNEY PIXAR DVDs
Alice in Wonderland
Bambi
Beauty and the Beast
Bolt
Cinderella
Coraline
E.T.
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Pinocchio
Princess Mononoke
Ratatouille
Rio 
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

untraceable
Click for full sized poster

Untraceable

Starring Diane Lane
Screenplay by Robert Fyvolent & Mark R. Brinker and Allison Burnett
From a story by Fyvolent & Brinker
Directed by Gregory Hoblit
website: www.sonypictures.com

IN SHORT: Squirm 'til it's over. It's a good thing <g>. [Rated R for some prolonged sequences of strong gruesome violence, and language. 106 minutes]

Cranky walked in to the screening of Untraceable, in which a killer streams his kills over a website page, mentally sharpening knives to take it down. Our attitude was all due to an early teevee ad in which star Diane Lane has a bit of dialog which goes something like: "He's on the Internet. It's untraceable!" and, having been writing on the Internet and its online predecessors for a dozen years, we know there is virtually that cannot be traced. Then again, since we're so hard nosed about not comparing to Source Material, the other side of our brain was working on a way to circumvent the system. What we came up with isn't far off from the technospeak explanation in the film, so we let it go. By the time it was done, we were squirming in our seat. Not from boredom but from suspense. Those who think scary flicks don't work without gore galore won't find plunging knives and flying body parts in Untraceable. What killings there are are creative enough, thank you very much, and the whole megilla is a pretty fine sit.

Special Agent Jennifer Marsh (Diane Lane) works nights in the Portland OR office of the FBI, hunting online criminals with partner Griffen Dowd (Colin Hanks). She works nights not because that's when the pervs come out -- on the 'net they're out 24/7 -- but because her husband died in the line of duty and her 8-year old daughter Annie (Perla Haney-Jardine), watched over by Marsh's mom Stella (Mary Beth Hurt) likes to  have mommy walk  her to school in the morning. Aw, sweet.

Then something new appears on the computer screens of the FBI perv squad. A new website called killwithme.com whose initial offering lets a starving, kidnapped kitty run across a room to an eagerly awaited dish of cream. Everybody go "awww" at the charitable gesture. One problem, though. To get to the cream the kitty must cross an ultra sticky "humane" rat catching pad. From this point on, all viewers of killwithme.com get to watch the kitty starve to death. Once its dead, the site shuts off. The viewers think it's a gimmick, but they spread the word on message  boards and thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, flock to the site to  have a look.

That's sorta kinda the point. THe next time the site goes live, the victim is not a cat. It is a  human being, bound gagged and with the words "kill with me" cut into his bare chest. Not very deeply but there's an IV drip of heparin, a blood thinner that ensures that the blood keeps flowing from the victims's chest. The more who tune in to the site, the more heparin is released into the IV and the faster the vic bleeds out. As opposed to huge spurting severed arteries, this kind of bleed out is pretty perverse. And so comes the FBI to the rescue, teamed with Portland PD Homicide Detective Eric Box (Billy Burke). Or not. And so the first human dies.

Each human victim that follows is taken out in increasingly clever and revolting ways because, when you think about it as intensely as the creators of this project have, you can come up with some pretty disgusting ways to torture, bleed and kill a body; to monitor it and adjust the speed of the torture and to work the hoi polloi unwashed masses into a killing frenzy (since they still  don't believe any of it is real).

As for that "Internet is Untraceable" nonsense? Our solution had a website bouncing back and forth among Russian servers -- which aren't regulated as the ones in the Western World -- mess with a couple of language changes and pop things back into unregulated servers, thus making the trace route exceptionally complicated, and kill the sap before the feds can track it down. Simple, right?

The strange part? Every ultimate kill seems to be centered in Portland. It's a diss to every cop and fed working the case as local victims fall one by one to whoever is the master sociopath. And, well, duh, sooner or later said nutcase is going to come after the agents hunting him/her/it. Welcome to the third act, keemosabe. We can say no more.

Except that by cutting back on the gruesome John Carpenter inspired slaughterhouse festivities and concentrating on ever increasing torturous slow kills, Untraceable should have you squirming in your seats. It did us.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Untraceable, he would have paid . . .

$7.00

See it.

amazon com link Click to buy films by Gregory Hoblit
Click to buy films starring Diane Lane
Click to buy films starring Colin Hanks

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.