Plot – A lead detective being stalked by a serial killer is asked to check into a clinic treating law enforcement officials who can’t face their jobs – D-Tox.
Director – Jim Gillespie
Released – 2002
When it comes to a compelling thriller, there are two elements that your film absolutely requires, a good dose of atmosphere and a script that makes you care about the character and the events. Unfortunately, D-Tox struggles with both. The atmosphere is severely affected by the lack of character development, which also makes it difficult to distinguish the characters from each other and even harder to care about them.
First, the performances. The makers don’t spend a huge amount of time developing any of the characters in a way that feels reminiscent of the teen slasher films of the late ’90s, in which most of the supporting cast were just there to increase the body count. Now, this isn’t the actor’s fault. They clearly did what they could. They were, however, let down by a paper-thin script that director Jim Gillespie evidently didn’t have the skill to work with.
And That’s a real shame, given just how talented the cast members happened to be. The plot and direction combining to prevent these talented actors from fully utilising their skills and turning an interesting plot about a deranged serial killer hunts a group of traumatised police officers in the middle of a snowstorm into an entertaining movie.
Given the movie’s potential and the star power, it’s difficult to see D-Tox being anything other than another cheesy action thriller in the vein of Die Hard, Cliffhanger or Daylight. And with a more experienced director at the helm, this might have been the case. Unfortunately, Gillespie clearly wasn’t up to the task of steadying the ship after the film ended up stuck in production hell and went through more than few rewrites.