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Faces in the Crowd (2011)

  Tags: David Atrakchi, drama, Faces in the Crowd, Forecast Pictures, Frantic Films, Julian McMahon, Julien Magnat, killer, Marianne Faithful, Michael Shanks, Milla Jovovich, Minds Eye Entertainment, Radar Films, Sarah Wayne Callies, serial killer, thriller

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (3 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
6

facesinthecrowd.jpg
Rating #: 
6/10
Director: 
Julien Magnat
Runtime: 
102 minutes
Cast: 
Milla Jovovich, Julian McMahon, Michael Shanks, David Atrakchi, Sarah Wayne Callies, Marianne Faithful


Milla Jovovich stars as a school teacher that witnesses a murder while walking home one night and is nearly killed by the serial killer known as "Tearjerk Jack." She barely makes it out alive after falling off a bridge and hitting her head along the way. Once she regains consciousness, it's revealed that she's now suffering a neurological disorder known as "face-blindness" (Prosopagnosia), where she has the inability to recognize people's faces. Meaning she sees a stranger each time she looks at someone, whether they're a friend or family member . This obviously poses an issue when she attempts to identify the killer for the police.

This isn't necessarily a bad movie, but it made a lot of poor decisions along the way. The biggest one for me was the fact that they didn't properly conceal the killer's face in his first on-screen appearance. His face is covered by a thin piece of material, and while it is a very brief scene, it's still enough time to make out certain characteristics of the actor's face. So naturally when the character shows up again later I knew immediately he was the killer, thus, removing any sort of potential surprise reveal.

Speaking of, the killer himself is also a complete joke. He cries on these woman after he rapes and murders them with his straight razor, and since that's his choice of weapon, all the kills are tired and tedious slashes to the throat. Any chance of making this "Tearjerk Jack" into a creepy and dominant antagonist is definitely lost.

Another issue I had with the flick is the fact that the filmmakers focused more on Milla's character dealing with her condition and not playing enough with the scenario of the killer being with her and she not knowing it. I could see her dealing with the condition as the centerpiece of a serious drama, but I was under the impression this was meant to be a horror film, so them opting to spend a majority of the movie on that aspect is a bit baffling to me.

All negative aside, this is a competent film, offering some decent performances and fairly high production values. It's just sad to see it go the way it did with some of the poor choices it made along the way. However, I can't completely punish it specifically on the fact that the filmmakers chose to make Milla's condition more of a focus rather than being a proper genre pic. This leads me to settle on a low 6-rating, making it an interesting, but unremarkable effort.

Faces in the Crowd is a good example of a movie that offers a fairly original and intriguing premise, but suffers a very bland and poor execution. Milla fans may enjoy this, but viewers seeking a horror flick will likely find this a pretty weak effort.

Posted on October 10, 2011 - 3:43pm | FrighT MasteR

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