Movie #48: Horsemen

It’s been a while since there’s been a standout psycho-serial-killer thriller (and I’m not counting horror movies like the Saw series in that category). I’m thinking of classics like Silence of the Lambs or Seven. Unfortunately Horsemen may owe a lot to those forerunners, but it’s not exactly a new milestone for the genre. Dennis Quaid stars as homicide detective Aidan Breslin, who is struggling both with being there for his sons after the death of their mother from cancer, and a series of twisted, ritualistic murders that appear to be related to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. In concept, it sounds potentially interesting (and a lot like Seven) but it doesn’t quite come off as a complex thriller. Quaid’s character seems a bit gruff and not particularly clever. Whenever he has a bright idea that helps solve the case, it only seems insightful in relation to the other officers who don’t do anything (in fact his boss even tries to assign him to another case right before the endgame). Ziyi Zhang is totally miscast as a young adopted daughter to one of the victims. She’s supposed to have lived in the US for more than half her life, but it still seems like she’s learned her lines phonetically. She’s supposed to be sexy and disturbed, but she’s more of a distraction (and not in a good way) than anything else. The whole Horsemen angle is pretty much just window-dressing. There’s an attempt to make it seem like it’s connected to some complex psychosis, but it just seems random and contrived. All that being said, it’s not horrible to watch (though there are some cringe-worthy moments) and if there aren’t any other good psycho-thrillers on the loose, it might still be worth a look. (3 out of 5)

2 more to go!


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