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>
The Australian DVD from Roadshow contains the extended European version, with Stargher masturbating in suspension over the bleached female victim. This release was granted an R rating by the OFLC, whereas the shorter version was rated MA. See more »
Somewhere in "The Cell" among the cut-and-paste MTV visuals, the cure-for-insomnia storyline, and the wooden acting from the leads there are some disturbing, offensive and just plain dumb ideas.
Did you know, for instance, that if the water is REALLY cold, a drowned woman's nipples will remain rosy and erect for days? We also learn that schizophrenia is a viral infection. (Ah-choo! Oops, sorry, you're mad.) Or is it some strange, water-activated brain lesion, a kind of dehydrated Alzheimers?
Deranged science aside, though, this film stands but mainly falls on its visuals. The director and designer are trapped in the MTV groove, in the sad belief that saturated colour and an unhealthy obsession with cloaks and cleavage make a feature film look as interesting as, say, the average Mariah Carey video. Someone on the production team obviously saw the Matrix then spent a few fevered hours over a hot copy of Photoshop cranking out the huge-scale post-industrial backdrops. The dully unprovocative bondage gear, piercing and chains are a tired combination of Victoria's Secret photo-shoot and second-hand Hellraiser. The late entry of some vaguely Catholic iconography looks like a cynical attempt to offend.
What's truly disturbing is the idiotically sentimental "final solution" handed out in the climax, as if assisted suicide is a preferred or natural choice for someone with this kind of mental illness. More depressing and sad is the intelligent story arc which threatened to develop, contrasting victims of abuse who become abusers and others who find the strength to live normal lives, just before they all put scarves over their faces and beamed up into a Spice Girls video.
Save your money, win back two hours of your life, just watch the Spice Girls video instead.
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