Television, Movie and Play Reviews

Reviewed by Cherie Jung


Starring: Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Cary Elwes, Jay O. Sanders

Director: Gary Fleder
Screenplay: David Klass

Rating: R

James Patterson is the author of the book that this film is based upon. I haven't read the book but I am going to read it. I can't believe the book is as bad as the movie. I may be wrong, but I would be very surprised if I were.

You've probably seen the previews. This is supposed to be a scary, psychological thriller. Someone had kidnapped several young women. The authorities have found two bodies. That's all.

Enter Morgan Freeman. He's a cop/psychologist. His niece is one of the abducted women. He heads to Durham, North Carolina to investigate, or at least offer his "expertise" to the local authorities. As you might suspect, the locals don't take to Freeman's interference, and not just because he's related to one of the victims.

One of the women who are being held captive manages to escape. That woman is Ashley Judd. She's believable as a plucky heroine. Too bad she didn't have something better to work with than this script. Her talents are wasted. So are Morgan Freeman's talents.

Someone is stalking young, pretty women. An intern (Ashley Judd) was kidnapped. Freeman's niece was an accomplished musician at university.

Someone is keeping these women prisoner. There are rules they must follow or they will be severly punished.

It's hard to make such a terrorizing situation boring but the makers of this film managed to do just that. The sneak preview audience I watched this film with became restless before we'd even reached the halfway point. And just when we thought things couldn't possibly get any more ridiculous, the film takes a twist that, at least the way it's presented, made the audience laugh instead of cringe in horror. Hint: are two psychos better than one psycho in two places at the same time?

Whether or not you figure out "whodunit" before the final scenes, the ending will probably seem unsatisfactory to you. It certainly did to our audience. I, for one, couldn't believe that not only had the acting talents of its stars been wasted, and the potential for an edge-of-your- seat movie dissipated, but they couldn't come up with a better ending?

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