The Horsemen (2009)
US (dir. Jonas Akerlund)
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Ziyi Zhang, Lou Taylor Pucci, Clifton Collins Jr., Patrick Fugit, Eric Balfour
Synopsis: Aidan Breslin is a bitter detective emotionally distanced from his two young sons following the untimely death of his devoted wife. While investigating a series of murders of rare violence, he discovers a terrifying link between himself and the suspects in a chain of murders that seem to be based on the Biblical prophecies concerning the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death.
Review: Biblically inclined serial killers tend to be pretty awesome, except when it turns out that they are just a bunch of emo kids banding together via a website and a group therapy class. What starts off as a relatively mediocre cop drama/serial killer film, ends as a boring after-school special about the importance of being there for your kids in the rough times of their lives and not taking them for granted. There are maybe two decent kill scenes in the movie. One of them involves a really cool fetish-y bondage-y style contraption that causes victims to be strung up by their skin and tortured until they die. Another well done kill scene involves the same contraption used on a would-be victim, but the killer decides to kill himself in front of the would-be victim instead. One of the four horsemen (as the serial killer group calls themselves) explains how the horsemen don’t directly kill the people they hate or who have wronged them, instead they kill off people close to the “bad” people in order to make them suffer etc etc. The hilarious thing about that is two out of the four “victims” don’t even care that their loved one has been killed, so really there whole scheme back-fires. In one case, a man’s pregnant wife is tortured and killed. Instead of being remorseful about the situation and punishing himself for having indirectly caused her murder, he winds up trying to cover up the fact that he was abusing his wife’s killer prior to the murder (the killer is his adopted daughter). In another case, a gay kid (who happens to be a horsemen) kills himself in front of his verbally abusive older brother. That also backfires, since the older brother is simply glad to have not been killed himself and within seconds of being rescued, resumes his old “my brother is a stupid fag” routine. What a waste.
Near the end of the movie, the son of the cop investigating the four horsemen killings, is revealed to be the mastermind behind the whole killing spree. His super top-secret lair is in his goddamn BEDROOM. And it’s not even like a discreet serial killer headquarters. It’s painted a blinding shade of white and is covered with details of the murders and incriminating photographs. How did NO ONE notice this? Supposedly its because the cop dad never paid much attention to his son after the death of his wife, but in all honesty there is really no excuse for not having noticed a serial killer den in the middle of your house.
So despite an interesting opening sequence, nothing is terribly fantastic about this movie. The four horsemen theme was really lame, especially in the end when the leader of the horsemen (the cop’s kid) synches his webcam to his emo website to showcase his demise to other emo kids across the world, only to have his dad rescue him and share a touching father-son moment. I bet everyone watching on the web must have been LOL-ing at the lameness.