The Bottom Line: Yes, it's a very gruesome horror movie, but at least there's a story, and a message.
It's a crime/horror movie that goes a little bit deeper than the norm, in order to give us a fascinating story about revenge. Don't get me wrong - there is horror in this movie, and some of the most gruesome violence I've ever seen. But I have to give credit where it's due - there's a real story here, too. A story of someone wronged, who is seeking revenge, and answers. A story that lets me - almost - root for the killer.
I'm talking about The Killing Gene (also known as WAZ and w-Delta-z)
Stellan Skarsgård and Melissa George play Eddie and Helen, two detectives working a very bizarre case. Each incident involves two victims - one who is severely burned, and another who is wounded in various other ways. The burned victim is always dead; the other one is sometimes still alive, at least for a little while before their wounds prove fatal. And, the burn victim always has an algebraic equation scraped into his body. Several pairs of these victims are found, while Eddie and Helen follow the clues.
Eventually we find out who's behind the gruesome discoveries, and why. And let me tell you, it's a compelling story. The person's story is given to us in pieces, but when it all comes together, you might look at these "victims" differently. Well, at least some of them. Rarely does a movie compel the viewer to cheer the "bad guy" but in this case, it comes close. If nothing else, the motives are very clear.
I would be remiss if I didn't discuss the R rating of this movie, and the brutal violence, including sexual assault, that accompanies the rating. I am rarely uncomfortable during a scene, but there's a real doozy in this movie. Viewers should use discretion for this one.
I was also not too impressed with the performances of the two leads. Melissa George's attempt to conceal her accent was poor, at best. Half the time she's her normal Australian self; the other half she's the American she's portraying. She also displayed some inappropriate facial expressions, appearing to smirk when she's supposed to be furious, for example. Skarsgård was the King of the Mumble in this movie. He spoke in whispers half the time, that were difficult to hear. Thank goodness for the rewind button!
Still, I liked this movie, as it had a definite message, and led me to think about things long after it was over. Themes of love and altruism are examined, and one can't help but ask "What would I do in that situation?" I would recommend this movie to crime/horror lovers, with a major caution about the violent content. See it, only if you think your stomach can take it.