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It's a thriller more than a horror. The acting is heavy, but that's to be expected from the type of characters portrayed. The two main protagonists carried the story pretty well. Although I do confess that I found the female lead somewhat cliché. Anyone who has read my other reviews knows that I am very picky about the "strong woman" trope that we see in movies these days. You know the sort, some really cute girl gets a part where plays a tough cop with a tragic history, she beats men up like they're children at the playground, she has no interest in relationships or other girlie things, engages in destructive behavior like drinking, having a messy apartment, and staying out too late, she lashes out with seemingly random violence at anyone around her.. I never enjoy such characters. It has always bored me with men, and it doesn't impress me any more with women.
The modern movie's propensity for pushing women into roles traditionally held by men usually leaves me shaking my head with disappointment, as it can be particularly challenging for a woman to fit into a mold that wasn't designed for her. The be fair, the lead actress in this film pulled it off much better than most women who attempt it. Kudos to her, she was convincing throughout.
The male lead pretty much did what he was expected to do: follow along until things go clearly against him, then go his own way. Really he didn't do a whole lot in this movie until the end. While the girl gets a heavy background to work with, his was sort of dubious and unclear for much of the time.
Atmospherically, the movie is dark. The idea is to delve into the depths of human depravity with the viewer in tow. Child murder (murder in general really), drugs, sex, violence, bullies at work.. It's all pulled together to stew itself into a dark adventure that aims to leave you thinking about how everyone around you might be harboring sick thoughts and desires. The filming and directing are consistent with the idea, and it serves to keep the atmosphere appropriate.
There is some gore, more or less inventively played with, and there is violence and a little bit of sex, but none of them in excess.
While the movie is consistently gripping, towards the end it makes what I personally view as a mistake: it ties the plot to a human ethical dilemma. It's almost like using a political debate as fuel for your scary movie ideas. The realism falls away a little and you are left with a mess of ideas rather than a clear single idea for the actors to act upon. At that point nothing anyone does really makes much sense. At least, that's how it seemed to me.
Good for a Saturday night movie, but unfortunately nothing special.
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