Writer: Scott Walker (Screenplay)
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Vanessa Hudgens, John Cusack, Dean Norris, Gia Mantegna, Robert Forgit, Brad William Henke, Michael McGrady, Katherine LaNasa, Kevin Dunn, Radha Mitchell, Matt Gerald, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, Curtis Jackson
Plot: Alaska Trooper Jack Holcombe (Cage) believes Robert Hansen (Cusack) is a serial killer who abducts young girls, tortures and sexually assaults them, then kills them. But Holcombe doesn’t have enough evidence to get a search warrant for Hansen’s premises. Holcombe knows that one victim, Cindy Paulsen (Hudgens), somehow survived, so he decides to seek her help, but he finds that she’s now a junkie with trust issues. Holcombe has to earn her trust; meanwhile, Hansen is still hunting and killing girls.
Verdict: Tense Thriller
Story: Telling the story of serial killer Robert Hansen but focusing more on catching him rather than his crimes, if fact we only see one kill that is very much off camera not glorifying it. That is a good point, we follow how one state trooper finally starts to believe something is worth investigating because Hansen was smart while disposing of the bodies. This story of Cindy and Jack trying to befriend her to find the truth could be made up by the best writers and knowing it is true makes the story even more incredible. The story focuses on Cindy not being able to trust after being shot down by officers, being forced into things by her pimp and tricked by other prostitutes. If it wasn’t based on a true story I would have like to seen more about the killer, but I agree they minimise seeing his good side that everyone thinks he was, was for the better. In the end it is a very well told story that respects the victims instead of glorifying the killer. (8/10)
Nicolas Cage: Jack who is leaving the force in two weeks before this last body turns up, he starts investigating and befriends the only known survivor, while trying to finally get enough evidence to investigate the prime suspect, but this tests his family commitments too. Good performance from Cage who shows he can do serious without adding some over the top action. (8/10)
Vanessa Hudgens: Cindy the prostitute victim who escaped, but no one wants to believe her story until Jack comes along, she has slipped back into her underworld and entering the world of drugs hasn’t help her trust issues which kept getting her in trouble. Good performance from Vanessa showing she really is dumping the child star tag with mature roles. (7/10)
John Cusack: Robert the everyday family man with a darker side, he stalks then kills woman and has been getting away with it for years. Good performance from Cusack showing his much darker side and not using the charm he is known for, (8/10)
Director Review: Scott Walker – Well directing thriller that shows the work the State Troopers put into stopping a serial killer. (8/10)
Biography: Showing more of the victim’s and lead officer’s side to the story we learn how one serial killer was finally stopped. (9/10)
Crime: Looks into the fine technicalities that can stop someone being stopped and how hard people need to search for the final truth. (8/10)
History: Well told story of how the killer was stopped. (9/10)
Thriller: Well built up thriller that keeps you wanting to know what happens next. (8/10)
Settings: Each setting works well for the story. (7/10)
Suggestion: If you are a fan of the genre you will enjoy this, but the more casual fan may find this slow because it is more about the people involved. (Thriller Fans Watch)
Best Part: The final Conviction.
Worst Part: Cindy’s choices get annoying as she makes bad decisions.
Believability: Based on the real victim, officer and killer. (9/10)
Chances of Tears: No (0/10)
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: Information about the real killer.
Oscar Chances: No
Budget: $27 Million
Runtime: 105 Minutes
Tagline: The hunter becomes the hunted.
Overall: Great Thriller That Shows How Hard The Truth Can Be To Find