Mind Hunters

Mind Hunters (2005)
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Cast: Eion Bailey, Will Kemp, Val Kilmer, Christian Slater, LL Cool J, Kathryn Morris
Extras: Commentary Track, Featurettes

When a group of top-notch F.B.I. profilers head off to a secluded island for an in-depth exercise in studying the mind of a serial killer, things take an unusual turn, in Renny Harlin's latest "Mind Hunters." Jake Harris (Val Kilmer) is the team's instructor, who takes the group to the spooky locale, leaving them to fend for themselves while gaining valuable knowledge in the process. Attempting to solve elaborate clues put upon the group, things take a deadly turn, as one by one, the members of the group start to become victims themselves. With paranoia setting in and the trainees loosing trust in one another, the rules have changed as it's now become a lethal game of survival.

Interesting concept, which could have been executed a little better, still manages to produce a few surprising twists and turns for its viewers. I actually expected this film to be a lot worse, given director Renny Harlin's spotty track record, but overall I found "Mind Hunters" to offer a decent take on the investigative-style cat-and-mouse thriller, in the general tradition of "Silence of the Lambs".

Buena Vista Home Entertainment provided an immaculate anamorphic widescreen transfer for the movie that does not exhibit any forms of dust particles, compression artifacts or edge enhancements of any kind. Colors are richly saturated, but offer mostly deep blues and greens as the bulk of the film takes place at night in rather dingy buildings. Black levels are rich and deep in reproduction providing a wealth of detail in practically every scene. Considering that the film is quite dark in the overall presentation, the transfer still manages to produce and display naturally appearing flesh tones throughout.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack paired well with the film's visual presentation by offering rich deep bass to enhance tense situations within the story. Voices appear natural in reproduction, especially given the various warehouse-style locations that could have easily wreaked havoc with echoing and distortion. The soundtrack displays quite nicely overall as good balance was maintained, while utilizing all available channels of the mix.

Renny Harlin has provided a full feature-length audio commentary, for those seeking a good director's point-of-view of this production. There are two separate featurettes available also, including "Profiling Mind Hunters" and "A Director's Walk Through Crimetown." Rounding out the special features is a segment on the stunt work from the film, aptly titled "Stunt Sequence".