If there’s a blonde that’s going to get chased through the woods, five will get you ten that it’s probably going to be Amanda Seyfried. After the decidedly ropey Red Riding Hood last year and a terminally tepid sci-fi outing with Justin Timberlake in In Time, she’s back in amongst the trees once again in a weak thriller which curiously also features a character named Hood.
She plays Jill, a nervy waitress who a year ago escaped the clutches of serial killer who has a penchant for abducting blondes and keeping them in a big bone-filled pit in the woods, like an arboreal Buffalo Bill without the suit made of lady parts.
Obsessed with tracking the killer down, she spends hours hiking through the nearby forest to find her former prison only to be horrified when she comes home from the late shift one night to find her sister Molly (Gossip Girl’s Emily Wickersham) missing.
Convinced that the killer has come back to finish the job, she immediately drops everything to track him down. The trouble is, the police don’t believe her and they think she’s hysterical, and Molly’s drinking problem means that they’re not taking her sudden disappearance seriously.
Luckily, Jill has Inspector Google on her side and quickly follows a series of leads in which every guy she comes is a potential creepy nutcase – from the gaunt unshaven locksmith to the unnecessarily skulking janitor. Even Wes Bentley’s unblinking Detective Hood is a potential suspect, given that he spends most of the time staring unnervingly at Jill like a constipated chameleon before vanishing into the night like vaporised Batman. Quite what someone of Bentley’s calibre is even doing here is a mystery considering the complete and total redundancy of his character.
It’s all astronomically and forehead-slappingly dumb. The supposed ‘climax’ has Seyfried voluntarily driving to meet a stranger in an abandoned ranger’s shack in the middle of the woods, even after said stranger has offered to meet her in town. If your protagonist is that stupid, frankly she deserves to die.
The whole thing is a turgid assemblage of contrivances and red-herrings, which has all the suspense of waiting for your toast to pop up in the morning. Less actually, considering that sometimes it’s possible to burn your toast.