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.
In a hospital on the outskirts of 1920s Los Angeles, an injured stuntman begins to tell a fellow patient, a little girl with a broken arm, a fantastic story of five mythical heroes. Thanks to his fractured state of mind and her vivid imagination, the line between fiction and reality blurs as the tale advances.
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 film opens with Catherine wandering around in the desert with a horse, which turns into a chess piece when she disembarks from it. This is meant to be an Alice Through the Looking Glass motif. It implies that Catherine is right at the beginning of her journey in the "Looking Glass" land, reminiscent of a pawn at the beginning of a chess game. See more »
(at around 1h 22 mins) After Peter revives from entering into the subconscious, he takes the cloth off his face and places it at his left side. In the next shot, the cloth is moved to right under his chin. See more »
One scene, where Vincent D'Onofrio hangs on his piercings, masturbating over the dead body of a woman, was not included in the US theatrical or DVD release, but can be seen in the European one. However, the US blu-ray happens to contain the director's cut of the film, despite not being labeled as such on the packaging and the R-rating listed on the back. The runtime is listed as 109 (the length of the director's cut) which marks the first time the film has been released uncut in the US. See more »
In this sci-fi thriller a child psychiatrist is experimenting with a new technology that allows for one person to enter another's mind. Meanwhile, the FBI catches a serial killer who has fallen into a coma. The psychiatrist is tasked with entering his mind in order to find the whereabouts of a girl he has captured and left in a deadly torture cell.
This is essentially a serial killer film with a very original angle. The science fiction element is really there purely as a means to allow us to enter the subconscious dream world of the killer. It's here where the movie departs from other films of the same genre. It's also here where The Cell truly marks itself out as a memorable movie. The story isn't all that strong but the look and feel of the dream-world is where this one scores. Visually, it's extremely good, with an especially well-used widescreen frame, and beautiful use of colour. The subconscious worlds are by turns surreal, beautiful and creepy. It is without a doubt the fantastic cinematography, set-design, costumes and lighting that are the strengths of this film.
As a means of trying to discover the whereabouts of the trapped girl, the psychiatrist tries to make a connection with the killer. In doing so she realises that he has a good and bad side. The good being his younger self before he became twisted as a result of abuse. It's an unusual angle to attempt to empathise with a serial murderer. Usually audiences are never asked to and I suppose it's an interesting difference. However, it's not an idea that 100% works though as no matter the childhood traumas it's quite difficult sympathising with a man who abducts, tortures and kills young women. This aside though, The Cell remains a highly stylish thriller, whose visual brilliance alone is enough reason for it to be considered a triumph.
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