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Cody Blue Snider
The place is Helverton, Colorado, a town of about 350,000 people. 15-year-old Genevieve Gage and her best friend Tiana Moore are typical teenagers who spend a lot of time surfing the internet and sending messages to strangers in chat rooms. Upon "meeting" another apparent student who goes by the screen name of Captain Howdy, Genevieve and Tiana decide to attend a party at Captain Howdy's house. As it turns out, Captain Howdy has lured them into a darkness from which there may be no permanent escape. But what Captain Howdy doesn't know is that Genevieve's father is local cop Mike Gage. When neither Genevieve nor Tiana has returned home by the next morning, Genevieve's mother Toni alerts Mike. With the help of a younger cop named Steve Christian, Mike tries to find Genevieve and Tiana. Things take an unexpected turn when Tiana's car is pulled out of a lake, and Tiana's tortured body is found in the car's trunk, with her mouth stitched shut. There's no sign of Genevieve. Mike discovers ... Written by
When the mob gathers around Carleton Hendricks' home, someone is holding a sign that says "We're not gonna take it." This is also the title of the biggest single from Dee Snider's band Twisted Sister. See more »
When Gage is IMing with CaptHowdy from his car, his fingers are shown typing G A G E in one shot and K O I in another. These letter combinations do not appear in the IM he sends. See more »
That Twisted Sister's Dee Snyder wrote and produced this may have turned some people off from even giving it a try. It's also in no small part inspired by The Silence of the Lambs (from which it steals at least one scene) and Se7en, and as with other movies that have taken inspiration from those movies, such as 8mm, Feardotcom and Saw, took some flak for that too. The title is a stumper, I don't know what it means and it doesn't seem to suit the movie well. The shocking cover image is well chosen, though it might surprise some that a person's mouth sewn shut could be found in the opening scene of a movie from the early 1930s, Murders in the Zoo.
In truth, it's not all that bad. A young woman is lured to a party through an online chatroom and an IM from "Captain Howdy," and her friend turns up dead with signs of body modification-inspired torture. A large septum piercing found in the trunk of her car provides a clue (I didn't understand how it could have been accidentally left, or why it would have been planted). The cop learns a bit about "modern primitives" (I think there's a shot from the RE/ Search book of that name) and online chatrooms, still a danger to the unwary today.
Somewhat surprisingly, partway into the movie we get a "four years later" intertitle, and the discovery of a second set of victims seems awfully convenient. The ending confrontation is disappointing.
There are nods to other movies as well, as when a group of neighbors tries to lynch the bad guy, led by Jack (Robert Englund). This is quite reminiscent of the lynching of Freddie Krueger (Robert Englund again) by his neighbors in the Nightmare on Elm Street backstory.
I saw the version on video, and am not sure how the unrated DVD might differ.
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