A couple rents out a room to a mysterious young man, who may or may not be guilty of a series of grisly neighborhood murders.A couple rents out a room to a mysterious young man, who may or may not be guilty of a series of grisly neighborhood murders.A couple rents out a room to a mysterious young man, who may or may not be guilty of a series of grisly neighborhood murders.
** 1/2 (out of 4)
Yet another remake of Alfred Hitchcock's 1927 film but this one is set in current day Los Angeles where a maniac is killing hookers. While a detective (Alfred Molina) tries to solve the case, an unhappily married woman (Hope Davis) rents her guest house to a mysterious writer (Simon Baker). One could argue that we really didn't need yet another version of this story but I think they did enough interesting things here to make this version worth watching. I think it falls well short of the 1927 and 1944 versions but I did like a few of the changes they did here. Setting the story in current times allows the filmmakers to use stuff like DNA and other scientific things to try to solve the cases. It also helps that the filmmakers are able to use the Jack the Ripper sideline as someone trying to copy his murders. I will say that the final ten minutes of the movie are without question the best thing in the film because it offers up a couple very nice twists that actually work. I'm certainly not going to give them away but I enjoyed them very much. The performances are also another major plus as Molina is excellent as the detective obsessed with solving the case. Shane West is good as his partner and Philip Baker Hall is also strong as the police chief. Rachel Leigh Cook plays the detective's daughter in a small role. Both Davis and Baker are also good in their portion of the story. I think some of the attempted style is a bit overdone and especially the scenes showing the L.A. freeways. I think less would have been a bit more in regards to the style thrown in by the director. Still, fans of the story will probably want to check this one out and while it's not a complete success it's at least good enough to be worth watching.
- Sep 1, 2012