A cyber thriller to die for

Whether it’s checking out the latest video clips, meeting your next potential partner or keeping in touch with old friends, the internet has become a big part of everyday life. “Untraceable” is a thriller film that takes this concept and expands upon it.

Jennifer Marsh (Diane Lane) is an FBI Special Agent who spends her nights handling cyber crimes such as identity theft. After receiving a tip about a new Web site, KillWithMe.com, which depicts the torturous death of a cat, she becomes obsessed with trying to figure out who is behind it all. The only problem is that, due to various servers and hosts, the site’s origin is untraceable.

In the mastermind’s eyes, the cat was only a taste of bigger things to come. After seeing the success of his first live torture, he changes his focus to humans, as he encourages his audience to spread the word about his Web site. The more viewers that log in to watch, the faster the victims die. (Hence the site’s name, Kill With Me.)

With each murder, viewers are shown a counter that keeps track of how many people are watching and how the person is being killed. At the same time, they show a chat session going on between the viewers.

“Untraceable” is a weird game of cat and mouse. By the middle of the movie, you see the killer and you know everything about him but he moves too quickly to be caught.

The scary thing about this movie isn’t necessarily the story itself, but how close it comes to reality. Think about it this way: how many times have you seen a video on Youtube that you’ve shared with others? While viewing the video might not lead to someone’s death, the idea is still the same.

With the popularity of sites like Craigslist and Ebay, it has almost become second nature to acquire things online. In one scene of the movie, a man receives an email from a friend of a friend who had an extra ticket to a hockey game. When he meets the guy for the ticket, he’s tasered and that’s when the fun begins.

The cast, comprised of Lane (“Unfaithful”), Billy Burke (“Along Came A Spider”), Colin Hanks (“King Kong”), and Joseph Cross (“Running With Scissors”) all deliver strong performances in this cyber thriller.

This is the type of movie that will make you think twice before turning on your computer, if you even decide to sign back on at all. While this movie isn’t for kids or those with weak stomachs, it’s definitely a must see.

3.5/4 stars