She’s got the look – Faces in the Crowd review

Faces in the Crowd Starring Milla Jovovich, Julian McMahon and Michael Shanks. Directed by Julien Magnat. Rated MA. By Hilary Simmons.

‘Face-blindness’ is a neurological disorder, not just an awkward affliction resulting from too much alcohol and/or anonymous hook-ups. It feels necessary to point this out because it’s the latest type of recognition impairment to be used as a plot device in a film. ‘Face-blindness’, also known as prosopagnosia, prevents prosopagnosiacs from being able to recognize the faces of family members, friends, lovers and even themselves. Scary, huh?

In Julien Magnat’s knotty suspense thriller, Anna (Milla Jovovich) develops ‘face-blindness’ after an untimely run-in with a ridiculously named serial killer. As Tearjerk Jack slits his victims throat, she manages to escape by falling off a bridge and banging her head, waking up a week later in hospital. Thank God she’s ok – but why is everyone’s face shifting?

Anna is now unable to remember or identify faces, which doesn’t make her a dream witness for a badly bearded and belligerent detective (Julian McMahon) to deal with. However, this presents a winning state of affairs for Tearjerk Jack, who terrorises Anna while slicing up more suckers. For the record, at some point it is disclosed that he is called Tearjerk Jack because of his habit of weeping over the bodies of his victims. As my housemate pointed out, if no one is around to witness the tears, how do we know they’re shed – and furthermore, where’s the menace in a moniker which recalls Johnny Depp in Cry Baby?

The new slant on the eyewitness angle is nonetheless interesting. Multiple actors play different roles at different times, effectively conveying Anna’s confusion, and showcasing some cool CGI trickery. Anna’s boyfriend is played by at least twelve actors; the downside is that with all the creepy clones around, it’s difficult to find Tearjerk Jack very threatening (as mentioned, the name doesn’t help). This is a stylish serial-killer chiller that’s best taken at “face” value. It’s not in the same league as Vertigo or Memento, but Milla Jovovich is compulsively watchable (although I prefer her in ass-kicking Resident Evil mode).

3/5

Faces in the Crowd arrives on DVD November 17.

3 Responses to “She’s got the look – Faces in the Crowd review”

  1. I’m a fish…

    Glub glub

  2. hey,my dvd got hanged just at the final part pf the movie. therefore i still couldnt figure out who the killer is. are there anyone who is kind enough to tell me who the killer is ? my guess would Julian McMahon’s own detective partner is it ? (forgot the name) you can leave me a reply to my mail hagekg@hotmail.com in case you dont want to leave spoilers to other viewers. Thanks.

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