Mindhunters [2004]

Genre: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Creepy, tense, and enigmatic, Renny Harlin's Mindhunters is a grisly cross between Agatha Christie's whodunit classic And Then There Were None and Jonathan Demme's horrifying The Silence of the Lambs. An interesting ensemble cast, including Christian Slater (Windtalkers), Jonny Lee Miller (Melinda and Melinda), L.L. Cool J (Harlin's Deep Blue Sea), and Kathryn Morris (television's Cold Case) portray promising FBI profilers-in-training. Val Kilmer plays their ambiguous instructor putting the candidates through their paces and leaving them for a weekend on a spooky island, where those who survive a terrifying exercise--penetrating the mind of a serial killer via elaborate clues--will go to the head of the class. The rules change, however, when the students themselves turn out to be victims, bumped off one after another, the survivors half-mad with suspicion and paranoia that the murderer is one of their own. The film's concept is sound even if the execution (so to speak) gets out of hand with problems of logic. Among other things, none of these characters could possibly find time to pull off some of the psychopath's more complicated killing rituals. Quibbles aside, however, Mindhunters is particularly watchable if one is in the mood for a movie that plays mind games. --Tom Keogh

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