I guess I'm a walking contradiction.
I mean I'm fascinated by the dark and sometimes frightening world of horror movies and novels, and even music.
But at the same time, as I have mentioned often on my website, I am the world's biggest pussy.
I had such a sense of dread while watching The Cell, that I almost decided to leave.
I'm glad I had enough testicular fortitude to last for the entire ride.
The Cell is a visually stunning movie. Take away the eye candy, and there is a disturbing story of the inner workings of a serial killer's mind. Jennifer Lopez plays a child psychologist / psychiatrist / therapist / social worker type who has been working with a comatose boy to try to bring him back. She uses an experimental procedure to actually enter the boy's mind and try to help him find his way.
When serial killer Vincent D'Onofrio ends up in a similar coma just before his possible capture, FBI Special Agent Vince Vaughn enlists Lopez' help to enter the killer's mind and find out where his last victim is being held.
What follows is a trip into a severely disturbed psyche, with graphically shocking and provocative results.
When I saw Vincent D'Onofrio in a movie called The Whole Wide World, I was blown away. There he played Robert E. Howard, the writer- creator of Conan The Barbarian. I thought D'Onofrio showed serious range in that movie. In The Cell, he is excellent as a truly sick man. He can play both dangerous and sympathetic with equal ease.
Vince Vaughn is also a great actor. He has a very natural appeal to him. He's just sort of there…like real people in real life are just there. He's not outlandish or extreme about his performances.
Unfortunately, in The Cell, Jennifer Lopez is really just more of the visual eye candy. Her character isn't built up enough, and it seems that any attractive woman could have filled the role. That being said however, Lopez does look fucking amazing through most of the movie. That Puffy guy is a lucky mo-fo!
The Cell is directed by Tarsem Singh, who I think now only goes by Tarsem, sorta like Cher, and Madonna, and Prince, and even Charo.
Tarsem comes from music videos and commercials. The only thing I personally know him from is the critically acclaimed REM video for Losing My Religion. A pretty fucking cool video, with a bit too much homo-erotic shit for my taste.
David Fincher, who directed Seven and Fight Club also came from the world of videos.
The difference is however, that Fincher's movies, while visually outrageous, still tell a cohesive story that don't solely rely on shock value.
Tarsem needs to have lunch with Fincher. Way too much of The Cell was there purely for cheap thrills. I think The Cell had an interesting story to tell, but under a more experienced director, it would have been better told.
Still, some of the images in The Cell are pure creative inspiration, and I'm sure they will haunt me for quite a while.