When Dallas FBI Agent Thomas Mackelway violates serial killer Raymond Starkey’s civil rights during an unorthodox arrest, Starkey goes free and Mackelway is demoted to a remote branch of the agency in Albuquerque. His first day on the job, Mackelway investigates the murder of a traveling salesman Harold Speck, which turns out to be the first of three seemingly random killings. Or perhaps they are not random at all; the last to die is Mackelway’s nemesis, Raymond Starkey. The assignment consumes him. His past mistakes haunt him. His head throbs constantly as he tries to find the link between the victims that will lead him to their killer. The case becomes increasingly gruesome and patently personal. This does not go unnoticed by his unflappable partner Fran Kulok, who knows of Mackelway’s past and the demons that afflict him. Like Mackelway, she becomes drawn into the labyrinth of chilling clues, all of which point to the enigmatic Benjamin O’Ryan. O’Ryan clearly has a connection to the murders, a connection he flaunts; quite possibly, he may also harbor a sinister link to Mackelway. –IMDb
Edmund Elias Merhige, known as E. Elias Merhige, (born June 14th, 1964) is an American film director born in Brooklyn.
Merhige is best known to mainstream audiences for the 2000 film Shadow of the Vampire, and to underground audiences for the cult-classic 1991 film Begotten.
As he says in his audio commentary to the Shadow of the Vampire DVD, Merhige views cinema as the only meaningful art form of the present era. He regards literature and drama as once-needed forms which are past their time and which have been superseded by film. He is also very interested in the occult and the paranormal, and images and themes derived from these traditions suffuse his films.
Merhige currently lives in Los Angeles, California. —Wikipedia
The script obviously was written to ride off of Se7en's audience, but Merhige can't help taking the paranormal investigator aspect seriously; playing off of the popular conspiracy theory about psychic CIA operatives, the movie extends it to the FBI. Merhige elevates the script with some interesting headache and psychic input abstract montages but not much saves this generic thriller from itself. --DiB