The Factory (2012) - An obsessed cop is on the trail of a serial killer prowling the streets of Buffalo, N.Y. When his teenage daughter disappears, he drops any professional restraint to get the killer.
I do enjoy a classic serial killer movie like Se7en or The Silence of the Lambs. Often imitated but so rarely done well, it’s nice when we get excellent films like I Saw The Devil which are modern and not huge Hollywood productions. When I read the summary above for The Factory, I thought it sounded great, and maybe we can throw that (albeit boring generic sounding film title) into the mix. Add to that a pretty good cast, and yeah, I had high hopes for it.
The Factory revolves around Mike Fletcher (John Cusack), who is a detective on the hunt for a serial killer that has been taking down prostitutes. He is aided by his partner Kelsey Walker (Jennifer Carpenter). The killer they are hunting is a twisted man named Gary Gemeaux (Dallas Roberts) who is apparently based on a real life killer, Gary Michael Heidnik.
In a standard horror movie predictable twist of fate, Fletcher’s daughter Abby (Mae Whitman) gets captured by Gemeaux and becomes a prisoner in his basement along with several other women. He hopes that they will all be mothers to his children, but not content with that he tortures them and kills those that cannot have children. As the old Stockholm Syndrome kicks in, the women are brainwashed and fight for his affection.
We then watch as Fletcher and his partner race against the clock to locate the killer and rescue his daughter. And you know what? It was a pretty intense ride! Sure, I found myself losing count of the clichés and nothing was really unique and never before seen. Yet sometimes even a formulaic by the numbers horror/thriller can entertain and surprise, and The Factory did that for me at times. Reviews seem to be negative across the board, but one big dividing factor is the ending. An ending can always make or break a film. An excellent ending can save an average film, for example The Sixth Sense. A horrible ending can ruin an otherwise good movie, kind of like The Village. I’m not sure where The Factory’s ending lies. It shocked me, I guess, and I had no idea it was going to end like that. I normally take that as a good sign. Although when I look at why it surprised me, it kind of becomes more ridiculous. Then maybe that tarnishes a film………I’m very confused by it if I’m being honest.
The main positive here is the cast, and I can happily say the lead trio are all on good form. As a huge Dexter fan, it’s nice to see Jennifer Carpenter branching out and doing some movies. Any Dexter fans out there may wonder why she has short hair in these images when the movie has just come out in February 2013. The sad thing is this was shot in 2008!! Nearly 5 years lost in limbo, and we all know that’s never a good sign for a movie. Digressing slightly, in similar news All The Boys Love Mandy Lane is finally getting a release this summer, and that was filmed in 2006!! (That is one hell of a movie, click the title if you’d like to see my review).
Our killer Dallas Roberts will be recognisable to any fans of The Walking Dead or the Liam Neeson wolf movie The Grey. He is suitably creepy and more than a match for our cops chasing him, as he helps create a very memorable bad guy. The biggest draw for this film though would be John Cusack. He does get a rough ride from critics, but for some strange reason I have always liked him. Aside from The Raven, which was terrible, he has done some good stuff over the years, and whilst maybe not being on top form here in The Factory, it’s a role he could play in his sleep and he does a solid job as the angry father blurring the lines of the law and just trying to save his daughter.
Visually the movie looks very good, and I’m a sucker for films set with a snowy backdrop. It’s well paced and the twist at the end caught me by surprise. It is a little grisly, but it’s more the subject matter that people may struggle with (girls being abducted and tortured) as it never gets too gratuitous or violent. However it is not all sunshine and roses. As I’ve mentioned, it does feel very much like a paint by numbers serial killer movie. We have seen it all before but yet it still deserves better than to sit on the shelf since 2008. Luckily it has now seen some kind of release on dvd and on-demand at the end of February.
In wrapping up, it would saved us all time had I just said:
‘Here is my movie review of The Factory. It’s a decent serial killer movie‘.
Some websites have done just that. I always want to try and offer up any reason to see something. I always want to see the good in a movie, or if something is bad I want to go into detail on why it just didn’t work for me, and how I am just one man so it doesn’t mean it wont work for you. I’m rambling, but I am at a loss as to whether this is coming to you highly recommended or it’s best avoided. If you like serial killer movies, then definitely give this a try if you get chance. You can do a lot worse, and I would know, as I have. Alternately just go watch an episode of Criminal Minds, because at times it plays out like a slightly more ‘R‘ rated version of one of those episodes. Yet a 6 is a decent score – see how confused I am! Watch it and then come back to me and help make up my mind!