Faces in the Crowd (2011)
Face the Facts
School teacher Anna Marchant (Milla Jovovich) and boyfriend Bryce (Michael Shanks) have a regular life; work, home having drinks with friends Nina (Valentina Vargas) and Francine (Sarah Wayne Callies) and so on. But one night that all changes when on her way home Anna comes across a woman being killed on a bridge by the much reported serial killer who in turn attacks Anna causing her too fall off. Injuring her head in the fall Anna spends a while in a coma before coming around only for the doctors to diagnose her as having Prosopagnosia, a disorder which prevents her from recognizing people's faces. With detective Sam Kerrest (Julian McMahon) desperate for her to remember the face of the serial killer there is the complication that whilst she can't remember his face he can remember hers.
Let me describe the scene in "Faces in the Crowd" where Anna is attacked on the bridge; she is walking alone, after a night out drinking, across a dark bridge where she sees what she believes is horny teenagers getting on in the shadows. Except when she hears a scream she realises it is the killer and as she tries to stifle her scream her phone just happens to ring, alerting the serial killer of her presence. Sounds wrong in so many ways from a woman walking alone late at night to the coincidence of her phone ringing, it almost is the level of wrong you expect from a made for TV movie.
In fact "Faces in the Crowd" also has a storyline which seems like it is screaming out make me as a TV movie with this situation where after an incident Anna develops Prosopagnosia, face blindness as it is an idea in the same vein as amnesia so whilst Anna can still remember her life she still has that aspect of not being entirely sure who she can trust as she can't remember their faces. In truth I like the idea even though from the minute the set up is in place you already can guess that at some point, most likely towards the end "Faces in the Crowd" will feature Anna in serious danger, a chase scene and either she will fight the killer or maybe the tough detecting Kerrest will save the day.
"Faces in the Crowd" also reminded me of a TV movie because the acting is remarkably forced right from the opening scene as we enter Anna's perfect world. It means that at times the lack of subtlety when it comes to the acting makes you jump to conclusions over who the killer is going to be especially if you have watched other similar movies because you can guess it is going to be quite obvious as to who it will be, one of just maybe 3 people.
I could go on because from detective Kerrest's investigations to moments of horror as Anna stares into a mirror and scares herself with the vision of the killer coming up behind her and slashing her throat it is either too cliche or simply too obvious.
What this all boils down to is that "Faces in the Crowd" isn't so much a bad movie but one which due to who is in it you expect more than what you would get in a made for TV movie. If you enjoy thrillers with a woman with a disorder which means she can't recognize people including the serial killer who almost killed her than give it a go just don't expect anything new.
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