The two reasons that stand out for watching this movie are the lead actor Willem Dafoe and in the supporting role, Scott Speedman. The combined talents of the two name actors isn’t enough to save this movie from being a bit dull and boring.
The theme of the movie is anamorphism – the painting technique that manipulates the laws of perspective to create two competing images on a single canvas. Detective Stan Aubrey (Dafoe) is linked to a new series of murders which begin to mirror a case 5 years ago in which ‘Uncle Eddie’, a vicious serial killer, positions his murder victims artistically. The result, chilling and evil, haunts detective Aubrey, who is forced to come out of semi-retirement and teaching, and he investigates the murders.
The first murder victim is found suspended and surrounded by photography lights, the room is sealed off except for a pinhole, creating a projected camera obscura effect on the apartment wall. The second killing quickly follows the first, in which the butchered corpses limbs are hung independently from wires, creating the image of a raven when viewed from the proper angle. Aubrey’s former partner is also killed in a greusome manner.
Detective Carl (Speedman) begins to suspect Aubrey, who was never the same after solving the original case, although he got promoted for his work on it. The suspicion of a copycat proves to be wrong – turns out 5 years ago they had the wrong person (who was shot dead while apprehending him) and the real killer is back. Carl is able to shoot the killer dead but Aubrey also dies as a result of the killer mortally wounding him.
I didn’t get much out of this film – the gruesome murder scenes were wicked but the movie is slow moving and dreary at times. I thought Dafoe was ok and Speedman looks as non-glamourous as possible in his role. Nothing much to write home about. I’d give it a 6 out of 10.