Suspect Zero

Partially recommended for postmoderns. I’ve said it before. The reason why I like the horror and thriller genres is because of the great potential they have to evoke a visceral gut feeling of the reality of real genuine evil in a postmodern world that denies absolutes and is increasingly deluded into thinking that evil is a relative cultural construction. (Read my article, “A Theology of Horror Films” click here) This movie does that very well. It’s not for the feint of heart though. It’s the story of a serial killer who is killing other serial killers, and he uses “remote viewing” to track them down (psychic seeing from a distance, developed by who else? The military and the CIA, then FBI). Well, there is something certainly emotionally satisfying at seeing a vigilante justice with these scumbags getting a taste of their own medicine. But of course, this is ultimately not morally acceptable and the movie communicates this in having the “good guy” killer pay for his crimes as well. Unfortunately, the very concept of a “suspect zero,” as a guy who criss-crosses the country, being responsible for most serial killings and missing persons is all rather trivializing of real evil serial murders, and therefore unbelievable and unsatisfying. However it is somewhat redeemed at the end when the hero FBI guy faces the good guy killer at the end, after killing the “suspect zero,” and tells him, “You can’t see everything. You don’t decide what’s justice. You’re not God. You think we did something mythical. We just killed a deviant. There’s thousands more out there. There is no suspect zero.” It was a good conclusion that evil is real and it lives on. We’re not heroes vanquishing evil like gods, we are humans struggling with it and always will. Evil is so thoroughly ingrained into human nature, that we don’t “get rid of it” or vanquish it, we can merely fight evil people. While the movie looked real creative and well shot with grainy nonlinear scratchy images of pain and evil intruding onto the normal visuals, it never quite entered the supreme quality realm of Se7en or Silence of the Lambs, which are the obvious goals of the film.

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