The success of the Saw series, especially the resurrection of the franchise after Saw 3D, has caused many movie makers to follow in its footsteps. 2010 saw a very well made film called The Tortured and another social thriller called Chain Letter.
Chain Letter addresses the issue of man's over-dependence on technology in the scariest of ways. It showcases how we have linked ourselves to IDs and numbers, making us traceable and vulnerable.
The film revolves around a group of IT students in an esteemed technological institute who receive chain letters warning them that if they break the chain, it would result in the loss of a life. As the victims are killed one by one, and in gruesome ways, viewers are made to realize how vulnerable they are to any random psychopath searching Twitter or Facebook for the next victim! With the premise being close to reality, and the events ahead being relevant to all of us, the Chain Letter is a chilling experience to say the least.
Chain Letter is rushed in places and that is perhaps the only turn-off. Some of the killings are abrupt and the chain messaging is not tracked in appropriate detail. The historic references to cults and anti-tech groups are also muffled up and are not properly linked to the story. In the end, one really do not understand if it was a single serial killer or a systematic sect doing the killings which is due to some sloppy direction.
There is nothing too special to write home about the cast, which includes Nikki Reed and Keith David. The performances are mediocre but not terrible.
All in all Chain Letter is a thought provoking effort but lacks the technical precision required to make it a real snorter. I rate it 3/5 mainly because of the content. Had the treatment been any better I definitely would have rated it higher!