‘The Number 23’ fails to thrill

Daria Gredysa

While “The Number 23” is supposed to be psychological thriller, I would rather dub the strange and laugh-out-loud movie a spooky comedy. Jim Carrey portrays a man whose life becomes consumed by the number after reading a book titled “The Number 23.” As he starts getting further and further engrossed in the book, Carrey becomes convinced that it is a story about his life, even though the details do not match up. His wife, played by Virginia Madsen (“Sideways”), is suspicious of her husband’s obscure behavior and his inclinations toward the book. The end of the movie, however, does produce a surprising twist that brings a conclusion to the events that have transpired and makes sitting through it at least explainable.

From the opening credits of the film, director Joel Schumacher tries but fails to create a believable blanket of mystery around the number 23. Not until halfway into the movie, when Carrey speaks with a college professor about the number and its history, does the movie begin to produce the weak but desired sensation of a thriller.

Carrey and his co-stars are not to blame for the movie’s feeble attempt to alarm; the letdown seems to fall in the execution of the plot. At times Carrey’s character is difficult to grasp, since we are all accustomed to his outlandish comedic style, but he does come off as “normal,” as he is supposed to throughout most of the film.

If you do decide to go see this movie, I suggest you do your research beforehand, aka “Googling” the number 23. This may make the whole plot a little more engaging, but I would not be surprised if someone next to you audibly laughs, as many did at the screening, when I suppose you should be on the edge of your seat. This film’s definitely not one of Carrey’s finest, but I will say it’s worth at least renting in a couple of months.