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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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
I've said before that some films are like `nothing you have ever seen before'. Well, The Cell takes that saying and burns it down, blows it up and drowns it. This movie is something you could and can be only imagined. And if you then told someone about it they'd have you locked up for a very long time. It could be categorized as a Sci-fi thriller and then as a serial killer film. Like Seven and Silence of the Lambs this is not the ordinary serial killer film. It stands on it's own as a new kind of thriller.
Jennifer Lopez stars as Catherine Deane, the best psychotherapist in the business. She works for a company who has developed the latest technology in therapy. She has the ability to go inside the mind of anyone and find out the reasoning to his or her distress. Enter Peter Novak (Vince Vaughn), a FBI agent tracking down a very sick serial killer Carl Stargher (Vincent D'Onofrio), who drowns his victims then dresses them up like dolls. On a FBI raid of his home Stargher goes into a coma and the whereabouts of his next victim are unknown. So Deane takes the job of going into his mind to find out where the victim is being held. And that's when this film gets intense, seriously intense.
The director Tarsem Singh, known for the award winning R.E.M. video `Losing my Religion', blows away everything you could have imagined. The dream sequences are beautifully shot with many camera tricks, creepy color distribution, graphic images, and a tense score. They are extremely trippy and surreal. They actually have a dream feel because anything goes and there are no rules. Lopez performance is as good as she looks. She nails the psychotherapist dead on and does a great job in showing the different aspects of her character. Vince is Vince, very cool, very low key, and very real. D'Onofrio will scare you. His Carl Stargher would make even Hannibal Lecter scream for mommy. This guy is more disturbed than ever imagined. He has to be seen to believe it.
Tarsem, with this film, has become one of my favorite directors and I will go see any film with his name on it. The Cell can only be described as a Sci-fi serial killer thriller that's visually disturbing, creepy, and one of the wildest films ever. It runs along the line with Seven for a good serial killer film and Event Horizon for a graphically sick and twisted film. This is best summer movie and the best film I've seen all year.
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