Children may be vague about the bogeyman, but women imagine a depraved sex slayer lurking under the bed or in the closet, and that's the fear that powers both James B. Patterson's best-selling novel and Gary Fleder's thriller. DC forensic psychologist Alex
Cross (Morgan Freeman) is forced to put his skills to work on a very personal case: His niece Naomi (Gina Ravena), a law student , has been abducted in North Carolina and the cops think she's the latest victim of a serial psycho who calls himself "Casanova." Two of his victims have been found
dead, but the rest -- a singularly talented, attractive and in all ways exceptional cross-section of young womanhood -- have simply vanished without a trace. Everyone's hopes are pinned on Dr. Kate Mctiernan (Ashley Judd), a young doctor who slithered out of the creep's chamber of horrors and
feels a bruising responsibility to the women she left behind to face a fate worse than death. Fleder soft-pedals the novel's sadistic smuttiness, focusing on spunky Kate -- who's not a victim, dammit! -- and stopping in only briefly to see what Casanova's up to in his pervert's playground.
But there's no real getting around that premise: Casanova is a serial rapist and murderer who stalks his victims for months, snatches them from places they feel safe -- including their own beds -- drugs them, beats them and forces them into brutal, humiliating sexual slavery: You just can't PC
that up. Fleder delivers the requisite shocks, and his direction is brisk, efficient and occasionally stylish; Judd and Freeman both give more than the material demands, and you have to love that the local cops answer to one-time Dr. Lecter Brian Cox.
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- Released: 1997
- Rating: R
- Review: Children may be vague about the bogeyman, but women imagine a depraved sex slayer lurking under the bed or in the closet, and that's the fear that powers both James B. Patterson's best-selling novel and Gary Fleder's thriller. DC forensic psychologist Alex… (more)