It's safe to say that before the release of the film I was basically foaming at the mouth in anticipation. I don't know what it was that drew me so strongly to it, but there was something about it that just wet my appetite for great cinema.
So, the week came when it was to be released, and Friday rolled around. I went to see it - and left utterly disappointed. I don't know what I expected from the film, from all the press I read I expected simple torture then an end to the film, but what I got, I later realized, was so much more.
The story, although topical to some degree, is at first glance a story of one person wanting to teach another a lesson about the "naughty" things they do, ALA Seven and Saw. But as the film unfolds the true faces are shown, and they're ugly. Ellen Page and Patrick Wilson turn in flawless performances, as they're the only main actors in the film, Sandra Oh plays a small, yet somewhat vital role, and then there's that one guy at the cafe.
The reason I detested this movie was for one simple reason - manipulation. NEVER in my life have I seen a film where my beliefs and feelings concerning the characters has shifted so furiously between one and the other. You sincerely believe that Jeff is an innocent man and that Haley is simply a sociopath. As the story unfolds, if you see the film in the same light as I did, by the end you'll be completely worn out, and left with a feeling of bleakness.
With most recent horror films focusing mainly on the gore aspect, and very little story, albeit one as complex as this, it was incredibly refreshing to see a horror/suspense film that was something that could just possibly top Hitchcock in his finest hour.
A true masterpiece.