An F.B.I. Agent persuades a social worker, who is adept with a new experimental technology, to enter the mind of a comatose serial killer in order to learn where he has hidden his latest kidnap victim.
Catharine Deane is a psychotherapist who is part of a revolutionary new treatment which allows her mind to literally enter the mind of her patients. Her experience in this method takes an unexpected turn when an F.B.I. Agent comes to ask for a desperate favor. They had just tracked down a notorious serial killer, Carl Stargher, whose method of operation is to abduct women one at a time and place them in a secret area where they are kept for about forty hours until they are slowly drowned. Unfortunately, the killer has fallen into an irreversible coma which means he cannot confess where he has taken his latest victim before she dies. Now, Catherine Deane must race against time to explore the twisted mind of the killer to get the information she needs, but Stargher's damaged personality poses dangers that threaten to overwhelm her.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
(At around one hour and twelve minutes) The scene where Peter Novak (Vince Vaughn) first enters the mind of Carl Stargher (Vincent D'Onofrio), and is confronted by three females with open mouths to the sky is based on the painting "Dawn" by Norwegian painter Odd Nerdrum. See more »
(at around 14 mins) When Catherine is at home, the TV in the background is playing Fantastic Planet. Scenes from the movie are shown out of order and the soundtrack does not match what is being shown. See more »
Two scenes featuring the girl in the water tank: one where she beats on the glass in the dark, screaming randomly, and another where the water comes on as she tries to eat, she counts to thirty, and screams when the water doesn't shut off when she reaches thirty (this sceen was, in part, in a version of the trailer)
A scene where, shortly after arriving at the institute, Peter and his partner talk by a statue (completely improvised, according to the director's commentary)
A previously unseen session with the child in the desert; the session is interuppted by outside influence, and we see a 'green man' speak for the technicians and place the fabric over Lopez's eyes as she passes out (immediately before the scene where one of the technicians says 'We have a situation')
An extended and modified version of the conversation between Lopez and D'Onofrio at the bathtub (where Carl is taking apart his first victim)
A modified version of the initial strike on Carl's house, involving a single FBI agent running across the street, over the fence, and onto Carl's lawn; he sees Carl, unconsious on the floor in his kitchen, via mirror (followed immediately by the initial infiltration)
An incredibly long and slow pan across the ceiling of Carl's room after the long shot of the schoolyard at the very end of the movie
The European version of the 'hanging' sequence, complete with Carl finishing the preparation of the body
Style over substance. But what a style it is. "The Cell" is the internal version of most serial killer movies. Unfortunately, the story hardly supports the visuals.
Psychotherapist Catherine Deane (J-Lo) goes into her patients' dreams via artificial means to discover and help them over come their phobias and obsessions. A new patient whose fallen into a coma, is brought to her attention by the FBI. He's a serial killer who drowns his female victims then poses their bodies in grotesque scenarios like mannequins. Deane must enter the killer's mind and navigate through his sick fantasies in order to find and save his latest victim.
Director Tarsem Singh has incredible visions and set pieces for this production. Each dream sequence is like a nightmare-ish painting in motion, from the landscapes to the costumes.
But the plot suffers from lack of history of its characters. Stargher is the only person with a thorough background and he's the last person you want to care about. Without him, you basically have a movie that moves in the present tense only, which is a shame since the movie is so visually stunning and genuinely scary. Lopez is wasted but she's not that amazing an actress anyway, though she's as gorgeous as ever. And Vince Vaughn? I don't even know why he was chosen. This is not his forte and he overacts to boot. He tried too hard to become his character and it showed. Stick to comedy, Vince! Even so, this movie is so visually frightening, I still watch this movie with the lights on and can never fall asleep right away afterward.
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