“People remember The Artist for the way he murdered and preserved six women.”Det. Jake Doyle
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a troubled detective, haunted by the past, turns to a convicted serial killer for insight when faced with a spate of copycat killings. Though it may immediately conjure The Silence of the Lambs, tonally Mindcage is most reminiscent of 1998’s Fallen, complete with religious allusions to angels. The resin-coated cadavers, exquisitely decorated and posed in angelic transfigurations, provide Mindcage’s most arresting images but this is a touch of gloss on derivate predictability. Martin Lawrence commits fully but is out of his element in a serious role as a detective burdened by evident PTSD that is not fully explored. John Malkovich is reliably unsettling but The Artist poses no threat to Hannibal Lector’s place amongst the most memorable villains. Meanwhile Roxburgh is capable but given little do beyond providing the audience’s perspective. Mindcage will be enough to appeal to a niche crowd; for most, I would suggest revisting Fallen instead, an equally bleak film that has undergone a re-evaluation in the years since its release.