Before going to see this film, the thought given to you through the advertisement is that Gregory Hoblit, better known for American television productions, has created a typical 'gross-out' horror, much like the ones created in the 1980s like SS Experience Camp. But actually it has a modern day twist with the characters completely surrounded by technology throughout the almost unbearable scenes of graphic torture.
Watching the Saw series with clever reasons behind the murders has obviously inspired the writers of this film, as every murder has a meaning. Robert Fyvolent and Mark Brinker, who wrote the story, have created the perfect balance of thrills, conflicts and horror conventions making it not just about killing every person in sight.
And it clearly shows how the Internet does create websites where the popularity can grow overnight, making those who visit certain websites everyday think 'Why do I actually do that?'
It seems all good so far? Not really. Anybody who is interested in the horror/thriller genre will easily be able to predict the clues given and therefore guess the end result. And being produced by an all American cast and crew shows through quite clearly, with messages of the FBI being able to save us and the fact that they aren't flawless and are actually very intelligent.
This means most of us who have heard this idea a thousand times over find it quite boring and not particularly interesting in the film. Also, animal lovers beware; the opening may make you want to leave, but stick with it because more cruelty is to come!
What really is impressive is the acting. No easily recognisable faces are in the film, but Diane Lane plays a believable agent, Jennifer Marsh, a single mother who surrounds herself with her job. And the conflicts with her personal life give another dimension to the film, meaning this horror could actually be one for the girls (as long as these girls can bare to watch killings of people, animals and possible children!)
Billy Birke plays Detective Eric Box creating a possible romance, and the lovable Colin Hanks plays Agent Griffin Dowd as Marsh's sidekick, creating three very different characters that work well together. I won't give away who the killer is but they play the part incredibly well, making it seem more and more likely that these websites will be created in this technology dependent world.
So overall, unless you've never seen a horror or thriller before, you won't feel particularly impressed with any unique qualities in the film but may gain some satisfaction with yourself by figuring out the ending before it's happened.