BY ASHLEY KOWALEWSKI
Upon reading a synopsis, I thought this movie was going to be about John Cusack and Jennifer Carpenter (love love love her and her badass-cop ways as sassy-mouthed Debra Morgan on Dexter, which, truthfully, partially drew me to watching this) playing detectives looking for a serial killer who is kidnapping and killing prostitutes. Well, that’s the basis of it, but there’s way more to this movie — maybe too much to fit into a brief 90 minutes.
John Cusack plays Mike, a live-for-the-job-die-for-the-job detective with an unhappy wife, rebellious teenager and young son at home. Jennifer Carpenter plays Kelsey, a mousier, meeker, more boring version of her character in Dexter. When Cusack’s daughter is mistaken for a hooker and is kidnapped (what does that say about your daughter and/or your parenting skills, or lack thereof?), the two set out to find her and her abductor, hoping to uncover what happened to those poor unfortunate prostitutes that have mysteriously gone missing in the Buffalo area.
There were so many things wrong with this movie — the fact that Mike was still allowed on the case, even though his daughter was abducted by the guy they’re hunting, is seriously unlikely. Also, the fact that they’ve never actually found any bodies, yet they’re hunting a “killer.” Bottom line: I watch too many cop shows and can get very nitpicky.
Now, let’s move to Abby (Cusack’s daughter, played by Mae Whitman, whom you may remember from her role as Mary Elizabeth in The Perks of Being a Wallflower). Thrown into the basement of her captor, she finds herself among two other young females, both ex-hookers, one super ready-to-pop pregnant, and the other desperately trying to get pregnant, both at the hand of their “daddy.” (Gross.) Without revealing too much of the ending (it all comes together really quickly), Abby goes from showing her rebellious side to playing nice with “daddy,” in hopes to buy her and the other girls time while her devoted father is on his way. I won’t spoil it, but this movie has a twist that you can see coming from a mile away.
It wasn’t the greatest movie I’ve ever watched, nor was it the worst. It did have its thrilling parts that made me hide my face under the blanket, and disturbing parts that I’m still cringing about as I write. If you love Jennifer Carpenter, don’t expect her best in this flick, and if you love John Cusack, you’re better off going back and watching Serendipity or The Raven. All in all, if you’re bored out of your skull and want to watch a movie about a sick and twisted motherfucker with a rushed ending, then go for it.
Now I know why I don’t remember this being in theatres. It probably only lasted a week.
Ashley Kowalewski is an editorial assistant and freelance writer based in Toronto. She has enough nail polish to last a lifetime, reads too much for her own good, and is hopelessly in love with Matt Damon (and his bad movies, too). Follow her @AshKowalewski.