Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Cell and The Cell 2 : A Comparison

The Cell 2 really surprised me. Just by looking at the trailer I figured this was another low-budget direct-to-dvd movie that would be awful, and since the The Cell had an endless amount of gore in it, this movie would be no different.

Well, I was mistaken in some presumptions. There is very little gore in the The Cell 2, and while the typical cliches are there, this movie does have some decent acting in it. So ordinarily I would give this movie a decent rating. But guess what? I'm still going to give it a very low rating. Because it has the balls to compare itself to the The Cell even though it's not a sequel in any way, shape or form.

First of all, a word about The Cell, and that word is awesome. It was really one of the first horror movies I had ever seen, and it scared the crap out of me. In a nutshell, a psychologist uses virtual technology to enter the mind of coma patients to try and help them. She uses the same technique on a serial killer to track down a missing victim, and we the audience are given a look into his mind. As I mentioned before, there is a lot of gore in this movie, but that actually enriches the film and, at the same time, also explores a more innocent side of the killer in the form of a child. It's scary, disturbing, beautiful, and scores a perfect 5 stars from me.

With that in mind, I'm going to do a step-by-step comparison as to how the The Cell 2 is nothing like the The Cell.

1) Main Character: First paragraph of the movie: In the most extreme brutal and violent cases traditional forensic investigations can be inadequate. In these instances to hunt down these most vicious and elusive killers and psychopaths we solicit the assistance of civilians with extraordinary gifts. Catherine Dean was one of them., jackasses. Catherine Dean was a child psychologist who used virtual technology to enter the mind of others. This was doubly true when other people started using the same technology. She doesn't have the gift on her own. Did anyone watch the first movie? That's usually a good step to creating a sequel.

Anyway, The Cell 2 stars a psychic named Maya, who developed her gift when she died at one point and was resuscitated. How does she use her gift? Virtual technology? No. Does she enter the mind of killers? No, she can only access their memories through touching personal items. Do we get to see the serial killer's inner demons and fantasy-type world? Yeah, wouldn't that make this movie interesting! And, no. We really don't. We only see recent memories, as in, things the killer did five minutes ago. In addition, Tessie Santaigo does a decent job as Maya, but she's no Jennifer Lopez. Just saying.

2) The antagonist: In The Cell, the serial killer Carl Stargher is a complex villain. While he is torturing and murdering young girls, part of him did suffer a great deal of abuse as a boy, and it is this inner child who tries to kelp Catherine Dean as she journeys through his mind. In The Cell 2, the antagonist is evil because...because...


Oh, I know! It's because he's insane! He doesn't need a backstory or any reason at all. He's just insane. Not only that, he spent a great deal of time studying physic ability, which means that he's physic too (Because, as we all know, people can get extraordinary talents just by studying about them. Off-topic: next week I'm going to take a class on how to mentally freeze people!). Again, the actor is decent and if weren't for a fact that this is supposed to be The Cell 2, this wouldn't be a big issue.

3) The setting: The Cell had a budget and for the most part had an artistic scenery, whereas the The Cell 2 had a limited budget and, well, most of that was spent on a chopper scene at the very beginning. Oh, but we have to try and be true to The Cell, don't we? So if you're looking for the same sort of visual weirdness and insanity that goes through a serial killer's mind, you'll get this scene-Maya goes into a cave. That's it. I hope that was worth waiting a whole hour for!

4) Overall plot-So, is this movie anything like The Cell? No, it isn't. The Cell was about a psychologist entering a serial killer's comatose mind to find the location of a final victim. The Cell 2 is really a whodunit mystery as Maya tries to discover the identity of an active serial killer who is torturing a victim. And because of a plot convenience, Maya never ever sees his face. But since the The Cell 2 has three supporting characters, it naturally has to be one of them. So is it FBI agent Dickweed? Deputy wallpaper? Sheriff reasonable-but-will-literally-grab-your-balls-if-you-override-his-authority? Buy the movie to find out!

Final Grade:
The Cell 1-5 stars
The Cell 2-1 ½ stars.

Yet we never get an answer to the most important question of the Cell 2-did Maya ever find that lost dog?

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