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</script></div>{/googleAds}Co-Produced by Michael Bay and starring Dennis Quaid in this dark, serial killer styled whodunit, you could be easily conned into thinking this is the new Se7en, particularly after the trailer begs people to â"come and see." The attention the film grabs in the first half gets severely undone during the second thanks to a haphazard script that doesn't fully justify the plot. Moreover, below average performances from top actors in supporting roles, corny dialogues, loose editing, and what you get to see is a wannabe horror-thriller that has all the potential to have been an astounding and thought provoking film.

The HorsemenOnce again, Dennis Quaid plays a workaholic yet hardened detective having presided over too many gruesome crime scenes. In fact, the film opens to a CSI like crime scene where Quaid's Aidan Breslin is called to the site of what looks like the setting of a bizarre and torturous murder. With just pieces of the victim staged in the epicenter of North, South, East and West, former forensics expert Breslin is quick to establish that this is not an ordinary murder, rather the work of fanatics delivering a vicious message in biblical fashion. His analysis takes a shocking turn when victims are found brutally murdered in a manner closely resembling prophesies from the Bible's chapter of Revelations. When the killer literally confesses to the murders, Breslin learns that three other accomplices are at large, arriving at a deduction that this is the modus operandi of four disturbed individuals posing as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Resulting in a cat and mouse chase with a major plot twist, Breslin and his family are directly linked to the motive behind these killings including potential for a million more deaths.

Besides the loosely bound script, the main problem is the cliché of having to endure another torture-porn flick hot on the heels of self righteous proclaiming others like Saw and Untraceable. As always, with these types of thrillers the message is loud and clear. Here in particular, is about parents getting too involved with work while neglecting even twenty Dollars worth of quality time with the family. And as the film goes, the consequences of this can be ever so dire. Unfortunately, the vehicle delivering this message looses steam even before it can pick up momentum. In the end, what could have been something original along the lines of Primal Fear, gets utterly wasted on the side lines for no apparent reason other than lack of depth. The cause could be that Jonas Ákerlund has a history in directing MTV and concert videos. Ultimately, the question is how well does a music video director cross over into full length films starting straight away in the thriller genre? If you really want to know, watch the film. Apart from directing, acting takes a beating as well with Quaid being the sole person with any enthusiasm. Central to the plot is Ziyi Zhang as the adopted daughter of a murder victim along with Lou Taylor Pucci playing Breslin's eldest son. Yet both these talented actors somehow only manage half-baked performances in what should be pivotal supporting roles. Besides that, Zhang has undermined herself by choosing a role that gets her no more than fifteen minutes of screen time, a startling contrast to her claim to fame from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to Memoirs of a Geisha.

Set in Detroit's Northern state of Michigan, the only cool aspects of the film lies in snowy cinematography providing some simulated relief from the sweltering heat outside. But then again, snow is fast becoming another clichéd prop when it comes to chilling metaphors in psychological thrillers, especially after the effect it had in Misery.

Component Grades
DVD Experience


DVD Details:

Screen Formats: 1.85:1

Subtitles: English; Spanish; Closed Captioned

Language and Sound: English: Dolby Digital 5.1; French-Canadian: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1



  • Feature-length commentary track with director Jonas Akerlund and cinematographer Eric Broms.

Deleted Scenes (11:40)

Number of Discs: 1 with Keepcase Packaging