Jovovich plays Anna, a school teacher who survives an attack by a serial killer known as Tearjerk Jack, but is left with prosopagnosia – a neurological disorder that makes her unable to recognise faces.
As Anna struggles to adapt, she finds herself being coerced into helping a detective (McMahon) into identifying her attacker. But a game of nerves ensues as Tearjerk Jack sets out to trap and kill the one person who can unmask him.
The concept of this psychological thriller is pretty cool, calling to mind Alfred Hitchcock‘s Vertigo, Dario Argento‘s numerous giallo’s, and the classic 1967 chiller Wait Until Dark, which scored Audrey Hepburn a Oscar nomination for her role as a blind woman fending of a gang off vicious criminals. But Faces in the Crowd fails to be in the same league because it’s so damned obvious who the killer is from the outset. And that’s down to a lazy script. There’s also the use of different actors to give a sense of the disorientation that Anna feels at being unable to recognise faces. It should work, but it just gets confusing.
Former Nip/Tuck star Julian MacMahon overacts as the dogged detective (and he’s certainly piled on the pounds since his plastic surgery drama ended); while 1960s icon Marianne Faithfull puts in a breathy performance as Anna’s shrink (she really should do audiobooks, I could listen to her voice forever). But the most suprising relevation is The Walking Dead‘s Sarah Wayne Callies. Almost unrecognisable under a big wig, Callies is a hoot as Anna’s man-hungry best friend.
Not a classic–in-the-making, but you won’t be bored.