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The Cell

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Template:Otheruses4 Template:Infobox Film The Cell is a 2000 psychological thriller film written by Mark Protosevich and directed by Tarsem Singh. The movie was nominated for the Academy Award for Makeup. Some external scenes in the film were shot at the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, California.


Child psychologist Catherine Deane is an expert in an experimental treatment for coma patients. A virtual reality device allows her to enter into the minds of her patients, which are rendered as 3D worlds, and attempt to coax them from their comas. When serial killer Carl Rudolph Stargher falls into a coma before the FBI can locate his final victim, Agent Novak convinces Deane to enter Stargher's mind and discover the victim's location. As Deane enters Stargher's mind, his victim is trapped in a cell that slowly fills with water through on an automatic timer.

Inside Stargher's dark and twisted mind, Deane is almost immediately confronted with Stargher's murderous personality, which manifests as a demonic tyrant. Stifling her initial fears, Deane comes to discover the innocent half of Stargher's psyche. He shows her the traumatic events that twisted his mind to murder, including his father's abuse, a seizure during his baptism, and the drowning of a wounded bird as a mercy killing. Deane attempts to nurture the innocent side of Stargher's mind, but his powerful murderous half thwarts her.

Despite Deane's best efforts, she becomes trapped in Stargher's dark dreamscape. Novak volunteers to enter Stargher's mind and attempt to rescue her. He manages to break Deane from Stargher's hold and discovers clues to the whereabouts of his victim. He exits Stargher's mind and rescues the girl from the cell just in the nick of time. Meanwhile, Deane decides to reverse the process and pull Stargher's mind into her own. She presents Stargher's innocent side with an Eden-like paradise, but his murderous side is always present, and manifests as a serpent. This time, however, Deane has all the power. She attacks the serpent-Stargher, but discovers that she cannot destroy one half without killing the other. Stargher's innocent side reminds her of the bird he drowned, and Deane reluctantly complies, killing him out of mercy.

Later, Deane comes to use her new approach in her regular therapy, pulling a comatose boy into her own mind to shelter him from his demons.

Artistic influencesEdit

Some of The Cell's scenes are inspired by works of art. A scene in which a horse is split into sections was inspired by the works of British artist Damien Hirst.[1] The film also includes scenes based on the work of other late 20th century artists, including Odd Nerdrum, H. R. Giger, and the Brothers Quay.[1] Many aspects of the killer's "dream sequences" bear resemblance to the imagery used in Mark Romanek's music videos, including Nine Inch Nails "Closer" and "The Perfect Drug", and Madonna's "Bedtime Story." Surreal images are seen in both The Cell and these videos. All of this imagery draws upon the early cinematic visual style of surrealist artists such as Luis Buñuel's "Un Chien Andalou"

Box officeEdit

U.S. box office domestic takings: $61,334,059. Foreign markets: $42,821,784.[2]


Actor Role Notes
Jennifer Lopez Catherine Deane Protagonist; child psychologist
Vincent D'Onofrio Carl Rudolph Stargher Antagonist; schizophrenic serial killer
Vince Vaughn FBI Agent Peter Novak
Jake Weber FBI Special Agent Gordon Ramsey
Dylan Baker Henry West
Marianne Jean-Baptiste Dr. Miriam Kent
Tara Subkoff Julia Hickson
Catherine Sutherland Anne Marie Vicksey
Pruitt Taylor Vince Dr. Reid
Colton James Edward Baines
Musetta Vander Ella Baines
Jake Thomas Young Carl Rudolph Stargher


External linksEdit

de:The Cell fi:The Cell fr:The Cell it:The Cell - La cellula nl:The Cell sv:The Cell

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