There is something horribly wrong with the bodies found in the dark city streets. Some are mutilated while others have the Price equation (wΔz = Cov (w,z) = βwzVz) carved into their flesh. Detective Eddie Argo and his new partner Helen Westcott unearth the meaning of the odd equation and realise each victim is being offered a gruesome choice: kill your loved ones, or be killed. Before long it becomes clear that the perpetrator has suffered a similar fate and is now coping by seeking a way to solve this philosophical dilemma.
Bodies have started turning up with W∆Z carved into their skin, cops Eddie Argo (Stellan Skarsgård) and Helen Westcott (Melissa George) investigate and find something truly disturbing is afoot.
It's cut from the same cloth as Saw, Seven and to a degree Hostel, in that it's torture pornish in narrative essence, and aesthetically grim with its neo-noir greens and browns. Tom Shankland's movie is undeniably bleak, but sift through the blood and the grime and you find there's an intelligent film at work, one that opens up an uncomfortable can of worms about human nature. But of course if you like it bloody and mean, then that is served up with relish as well, with all the key scenes packing an emotional whack to go with the jolts.
Brains to go with the splatter, some very smart photography (Morten Søborg) and engaging lead performances, these all lift this above average. If only it hadn't cheapened things down with the daft finale then this would have garnered more support in horror circles. 6/10
Vertigo Films, UK Film Council, Northern Ireland Screen, Ingenious Media by Tom Shankland, Clive Bradley.
Stars: Stellan Skarsgård, Melissa George, Ashley Walters, Tom Hardy.
Genres: Crime, Drama, Horror, Thriller
Keywords: detective chase investigation police psychopath revenge slasher torture violence drugs death evil neo-noir
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