This film marked the first real unhappy ending I’d ever witnessed. I couldn’t have been more than 12 when I first took a peek into this grotesque, harrowing and all to real world. The world where every sinner is punished with their respective sin. Most will remember the sloth scene, the pine air fresheners hanging from the ceiling, the chilling sight of Victor as he lies motionless in a sea of filth. The terror comes when you are startled by his apparent resurrection, being corpse like only seconds earlier. His pain ridden eyes darting around the room at his “rescuers”.
Such a dark and often depressing flick could feel like a slog with other talent behind it. But the fire of a younger Brad Pitt and Morgan Freemans jaded detective are the slice of sanity we cling to in this hellish city, the sound of pounding rainfall hardly ever out of earshot. Gwyneth Paltrow brings an innocence that could simply never last in this decaying land. Not while Kevin Spaceys killer stalks his prey, turning the sin against the sinner. It’s nasty, it’s grim, but it will stay with you long after the box has been opened.