Just relax, everything is okay. Life is normal, here in the real world people don't hear voices instructing them to kill. Normal people don't sit at home and jack-off to the Faces of Death Series. Good solid American folks would never dream of killing young boys and then eat their bodies. Be cool. Never happened. The scariest monsters don't come out of H.R. Geiger's nightmares, or from Stephan King's typewriter.One such monster is Vann Siegert, a young man who seems to just float through the world. He is present, and strangely disjointed at the same time. People either fail to see him, or if they do see him (usually because they are somewhat out of joint themselves) they just see an oddly amicable young man who always seems just a half step off. But Vann is a man with a job to do, he kills unhappy people.
After drifting into a small coastal town Vann begins drawing dysfunction to him. He takes a room with a nice married couple, and gets himself a nice little job at the post office. The couple (Brian Cox, Mercedes Ruehl) are renting out there spare room because their daughter will never be home to visit.
People begin to disappear, and the police begin poking around. Everybody in town begins building a picture of the man that could do this. No one ever thinks of Vann. But he knows who the monster is, and as the tension begins to build up the already loose grip that he has on reality begins to slip just a little. And then a little more.
Ann Rule wrote a book called The Stranger Beside Me about a very similar experience that she had. She worked at a suicide prevention hotline next to Ted Bundy for years. That's the real horror in life, the fact that the monsters don't come with a sound track to warn you when something bad is about to happen.
This movie is chilling from beginning to end. And when it does end, there isn't any safety to be found in the world outside the film. The real Vann is out there, along with a hundred others just like him. And unless we have the misfortune of being one of their victims we probably won't ever know where they are.Wonderful understated performances from all involved. Special mention to Owen Wilson, and Janeane Garofalo for two of the most introspective performances I've seen recently.