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Stars: Diane Lane, Billy Burke, Colin Hanks, Joseph Cross, Mary Beth Hurt

Director: Gregory Hoblit

Even by the standards of such serial-killer thrillers as Se7en, this is pretty sick. A hi-tech psycho trusses up victims in his basement, sets them up for various forms of diabolical torture, and streams the results on to the Internet, via his Killwithme site.

The more voyeurs tune in, the quicker the prisoner dies. The first is drained of blood, the second burned with fierce heat rays. The third watches sulphuric acid seep into the water he's in and strip his flesh from the bones. Nice, eh? It's grim stuff, but then the makers are counting on their audience having the same curiosity as the users in the film.

Lane and Hanks are the FBI detectives/boffins assigned to track this maniac down, and both do daft things to help propel the plot forward. Stranded on a bridge when the genius killer disables her car and mobile by remote control (possible?), Lane smashes her way out and gets to a telephone. 'Stay where you are!' she's told. So what does she do? She goes back to the most dangerous place on the bridge - her car.

Shot in poor colour (perhaps in an attempt to achieve a noir feel), but serviceably directed by Hoblit, this highly unlikely yarn runs like a good grade TV thriller along CSI lines, but no more.

David Quinlan

USA 2008. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour by deluxe.
98 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 23 Feb 2008