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On a remote island, the FBI has a training program for their psychological profiling division, called "Mindhunters", used to track down serial killers. The training goes horribly wrong, however, when a group of seven young agents discover that one of them is a serial killer, and is setting about slaying the others. Can the few that are left figure out who the killer is in time? Written by
Knowing Renny Harlin's track record, you never know what to expect from the Finnish director. It seems it's more or less random which of his films turn out to be crap or really quite good. I didn't know what to expect here, and maybe my low expectations were part of the reason why i found this film to be surprisingly entertaining.
The setup is pretty standard-fare for a serial-killer film. What makes this different is the victims. They are FBI-agents in training to become profilers. Their teacher is Jake Harris (Val Kilmer) who likes to use special methods while training his agents. As a test the profilers-to-be are sent out to an army training facility on a desolate island. A small town is built on the island and the morning after their arrival a murder will have happened in the town, their job is to find the killer. Something goes wrong however and it seems the game has become real, a killer really is on the loose and now he's chasing them.
To say that this story is unbelievable and forced is an understatement. The whole set-up with an abandoned island feels a bit cheap, a lame excuse to get the agents alone in a place from which there is no escape. But if you can accept that particular bit of plot then the rest is not bad at all. The atmosphere is well built and the suspense is thick. Also most of the actors do a pretty good job creating that "anyone-could-be-guilty"-feeling.
So, even though the serial-killer thing has been done a thousand times and even though the set-up here is even less believable than usual, this is still an enjoyable experience. It might not be revolutionary, and it might not be something you'll remember for very long. But if you like this kind of movie you will at least be entertained for as long as it lasts. I rate it 6/10.
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