Okay, I’ll admit this movie is much more of a guilty pleasure than a great film. I just find it very fun to watch, so I’ve seen it quite a few times. I’ve even put it on as background noise while working more than once.
It’s not much more than torture porn, but Elisha Cuthbert is so adorable that I can pretty much forgive her anything. And believe me, Jennifer is a character who needs some forgiveness. Despite the character development they try to build throughout the film, Jennifer is not a very sympathetic character. Gary is even less so.
It’s a weirdly paced movie, and almost feels like two different movies (before Gary arrives versus after). I like the opening sequence — it’s effective despite being a little long.
I also like that for the most part Jennifer doesn’t get a chance to make too many stupid decisions. Aside from going to a bar alone and trusting the first random guy who happens to appear in the basement with her, she isn’t walking herself into dangerous situations. Sure, the whole movie is her finding herself in one long dangerous situation, but at least it’s not one that she was asking for.
This movie gets a bit graphic at times, but the story is interesting, the reveal is well timed (though I found it a bit predictable the first time), and the acting is believable. Overall I really like it, but it’s only getting a 4 out of 5 because of the one burning question I’m left with at the end of every viewing: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE DOG??