There are movies that restore your faith in human nature, even as they show how little faith other people may have. Films like The Green Mile, Syriana, Munich show the evil that men do, and what good men have done to counter it.

Untraceable Movie PosterBut when evil does not have a face, or too many faces that it becomes difficult to know where it is and how to stop it, things happen that make you wonder if having faith in human nature is a good thing in the first place. There are films that make you wonder what human nature really is.

I first heard about Untraceable while on the website, on my daily tasks at work. It touted the movie as having used the services as part of the movie’s technical background. The movie was shown in Manila last February without much fanfare. I suppose that’s primarily because Diane Lane really isn’t the typical Pinoy’s leading lady, not in the Anne Hathaway/Angelina Jolie/Cameron Diaz mould at all. But I have faith in Diane Lane and she’s never let me down, not in Murder at 1600, not in Unfaithful, and certainly not in this movie.

The movie also features Colin Hanks, whose voice is starting to sound more and more like his famous father’s. I’d only seen him twice: as Lt. Jones in Band of Brothers (ep. 8 The Last Patrol), and as one of the kids in That Thing You Do. I learned he was also in the later version of King Kong, but I haven’t seen that. Colin Hanks is one of the most underused actors in Hollywood, in my opinion.

Colin Hanks as Agent Griffin Dowd in Untraceable

Here is the synopsis from

A secret service agent, Jennifer Marsh (Lane), gets caught in a very personal and deadly cat-and-mouse game with a serial killer who knows that people (being what they are – both curious and drawn to the dark side of things) will log onto an “untraceable” website where he conducts violent and painful murders LIVE on the net. The more people who log on and enter the website, the quicker and more violently the victim dies.

Diane Lane as Agent Jennifer Marsh in Untraceable

Untraceable made me wonder about what human nature really is, apart from curiosity and the general belief that man is inherently good. That there are people that upload videos of unfortunate events on the internet, such as actual beheadings and snafu movies, there is no doubt. But the realization of how many people actually watch these videos and how they react to them made me think of what the internet has allowed people to become.

A Scene from Untraceable

The website featured in the movie, is actually a site that not only promotes the film, but gives one a brief insight on how curiosity can actually kill more than a cat. When you load the site in your browser it warns you that proceding may cause harm to a human being, but knowing that it was a movie site, I clicked Enter anyway.

The second I did, I wondered what if it weren’t a movie site, what if I had been one of the anonymous surfers who had logged into the fictional site. Would have I clicked on, despite the warning?


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