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The Number 23 (2007)

Directed by Joel Schumacher  Written by Fernley Phillips

      I move on to an Actor not normally thought of when the words Horror or Thriller come to mind. Mostly because he has been making audiences laugh for well over 2 decades. Though interestingly enough Jim Carrey has similarities within the script that also bared a likeness to his actual life. His father played saxophone and was an accountant much like in the story. He also has his own company with the name JC23 that came before coming across the script. Admitting to being a bit obsessed with the number prior.

 I had seen this film before, liked it then, still do (spoiler!) and decided to look further into the subject before viewing again. Searching through a couple sites, the information can certainly peak ones interest. The DVD has  special features where you can figure out what your number is, or at least one of your numbers. Or you could probably find the information on any site referring to the topic. I certainly started scribbling like a weirdo to see if I could find any coincidences besides what I had found on the sites. I tend to love when movies introduce something that can easily become a fixation.

     The movie opens with credits, choosing to let the story speak for itself and intaking it for what it is, a great thriller. We are shown different facts involving the number 23. **Sidenote: There is an entire group of people who study the number 23 and the inquisitive coincidences seen repeated again and again through time. Down below I have listed some sites where you can roam if curious on what the entire buzz is about. ** Walter (Carrey) begins speaking to the audience about abnormalities. Sitting in an animal control truck having all of 2 minutes left until his shift was over. When, with a minute left ,he gets a call and we are brought back to a Christmas party flashback where Walter is seen being mean to the same dispatcher calling so soon before hisdeparture. Walter hesitantly accepts the call and heads out to try to obtain the American bulldog. He begins telling the dog a story, speaking softly so as to ease the dog in and manages to capture him despite getting a bite to the arm. Embarking on a mini adventure which leads to a gravesite with the name Laura Tollins.

     Late to meet his wife, he nurses his wounds and finds Agatha (Virginia Madsen) enveloped in a book she ends up buying for him. Considered a pre-birthday gift before heading out for dinner with friends to celebrate. Feeling an immediate connection to the book, as the pair returns home he immediately begins the novel. We learn of the character Fingerling whose as well played by Carrey. Hypnotized by the novels contents, he’s unable to see it for simply the novel it’s suggested as. We’re taken into Fingerlings world as displays of his childhood permeate and we learn of the reason behind him wanting to be a detective and how the number 23 had ruined his father’s life. On Fingerling’s 8th birthday he discovered his dead neighbor inside her house and knew he was meant as a detective when the cops ruled it a suicide; but he knew better. Walter then starts linking moments within his life with that of Fingerlings. Preaching to a not so emphatic wife who insists the two are nothing alike. Later in the book we learn of the suicide blonde played by Lynn Collins. What started as an attempt to save her life lead to her informing him on the power of the number 23 and how it had taken a hold of her, having claimed her parents prior. Ripping the papers off her walls, she displays the countless amount of madness displayed through her apartment. Despite Fingerlings best efforts, he leaves only to hear her jumping to her death once exiting.

     Walter then begins seeing the fascination with the number, sharing it with wife and son (Logan Lerman) after arriving home one night. A concerned Agatha contacts her friend Isaac (Danny Huston) who informs Walter of some curious facts about the number 23 and how explains how there is a vast amount of people who perpetuate the knowledge of such. Overcome with paranoia, the number encompasses his dreams, thoughts and drives him to leaving the house for a night’s rest at a hotel beckoning him. Finishing the novel ending on a similar note to the suicide blonde, it finishes so abruptly that Walter’s left wondering. Soon making a discover that leads him to believe the story was still very much alive.

     What happens next would not be given justice to all that was intriguing and great about the film. They’re so many great dynamics within this film and it weaves a beautiful tale of deception, paranoia and the secrets we are able to hold within. Fingerling’s world had a great Noir essence with stunningly morbid color schemes; also loving the blood-red walls in Walter’s world. There is also a dynamic that begins forming between the father and son as he makes the number infectious and succumbs to all its coincidence. Carrey did a terrific job of being able to pull off many great character roles prior and then surprising with his great ability to truly give himself to a different role all together. Madsen was a good opposition for the character of Walter but not as viable as the character of Fabrizia; the female dominant interfacing with Fingerling throughout the book read. Collins was a great actress and had such a visually striking face to match the untainted backdrops she was pinned against. She’s a great temptress and has a lovely accented voice that I always enjoy seeing on-screen. Overall the movie let Carry and Schumacher come together to create a thoroughly entertaining story being a b-e-a-utiful addition to their both already notable careers.

Some of the websites that seemed the most “interesting”:

http://www.dedroidify.com/23.htm#introhttp://the-number-23.blogspot.com/http://www.decoz.com/DoReading_numerology_2.htm;

http://aboutnumerology.com/whatthenumbersmean.php