The Cell (2000)
Main cast: Jennifer Lopez (Catherine Deane), Vince Vaughn (Peter Novak), and Vincent D'Onofrio (Carl Stargher)
Director: Tarsem Singh

Underneath its Silence Of The Lamb facade, The Cell is actually a very stylish, nice-to-look-at eye candy. It's like an arty fashion ad. Jennifer Lopez stands proud and regal, statuesque, long red scarves flowing around her like a diva from another dimension. Beautiful.

The plot is simple: Catherine Deane is a doctor/therapist/something who works as some sort of empath. She "travels" into coma patients' mind to coax them into awakening, so to speak, with the aid of some high tech gizmos that require her to wear body-hugging latex. When a psycho falls into a coma, the FBI lead by Peter Novak asks her to probe into the man's mind. Objective? To discover the location of the psycho's latest victim in less than a day.

The psycho loves to kill women by drowning them and then bleaching them into dolls. Hence Catherine finds herself in some surreal kingdom of colors and Nightmare On Elm Street-like overtones. Can she succeed?

Does it matter? Oh, the surreal overtones. Every element of The Twilight Zone, Friday the 13th, and that spiky horror fellow movie (can't remember the name) is ripped-off shamelessly, resulting in beautifully colorful amalgamation of haphazard, random bursts of chaotic scenes. It's arty in a very low brow manner.

Jennifer Lopez makes a brilliant statuesque figure, although she is annoying in that she never speaks above a squeak in this movie. Vince Vaughn is laughable as an obsessed dude - come on, I can see what he really want is to dive into Catherine's lacy undies.

But never mind the lack of substance or even coherency. The Cell is beautiful to look at. Think of it as a very expensive advertisement for, oh, I don't know - an art gallery?

Rating: 77

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