FBI agents Joe Merriweather (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Katherine Cowles (Abbie Cornish) are on the hunt for a skilled serial killer. When the story begins there are already 3 murders and we see the agents discussing bringing in a former colleague to help them out. This colleague is John Clancy (Anthony Hopkins) who has psychic abilities. By touching people or objects he can get a glimpse into that person or objects life, something which would be very helpful in tracking down a killer. Clancy is at first unwilling to help, he is still grieving for his daughter who died of leukaemia and the subsequent separation from his wife. However, he is soon intrigued and agrees to help. The rest of the film follows these characters as they track down the murderer, but it is soon clear that this is no ordinary killer as he seems to be always one step ahead of them, like he knows what they are going to do before they even do…
Solace is a strange film in that the idea is good, the actors are all good and visually it is very appealing but to me there felt like there was something missing. I didn’t really connect to the film – though this could have been down to some very graphic imagery regarding the murders that flashed up on screen with no warning, meaning that I spent a good deal of the time with my hands ready to cover my eyes! I found myself thinking of Se7en (1995) in regards to the camera work and aesthetics and Premonition (2007) due to the psychic flashes, both very good films but unfortunately Solace does not compete.
In regards to the cast, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Abbie Cornish and Anthony Hopkins all bring brilliant acting as they tackle these serious roles. The killer is revealed to be the fantastic Colin Farrell (disappointingly without his lovely Irish accent) – not a spoiler there, it’s in the trailer! Colin definitely brings out the creepy murderer very well and the showdown at the end is brilliantly acted by all.
There are a lot of extreme close-ups on characters faces throughout and a lot of the time the camera doesn’t stop moving, whether that’s by zooming in and out on people or just moving around a bit when the characters are stationary. I think this was to keep the suspense and tension mounting but a few times it was just plain annoying! The dialogue is at times very heavy going, particularly in the beginning when you are just thrown straight into the middle of a murder investigation and expected to keep up with what follows. There are also a few moments when it was hard to hear what the characters were saying over the background noise.
Overall the film is definitely a thriller as the plot twists and turns throughout, but I could have done without the graphic flashes of people dying that kept occurring whenever Clancy touched anybody. Probably not one I’d be likely to watch again, but if you’re into thrillers then you might like it a bit more than me!