Private Investigator Tom Welles (Nicolas Cage) ignores the advice of Nietzsche as he delves deep into the realm of pornographers, sado-masochists and monsters. He is hired by a rich widow to track down the origins of her late husband's dirtiest little secret: a seemingly genuine snuff film. The gravity of the dark subject matter is downplayed in this day and age where everything is recorded and the most devious acts can be found online. What gives the story weight is the strength of performance and the plausibility of events. Tons of people go missing every year and there are plenty of sickos out there. The sleazy elements in the film are brought to life by great casting choices (such as James Gandolfini and Peter Stormare) and set design. The deeper down the rabbit hole 8MM plunges, the more the human side of things becomes important. In the end it centers less around a snuff film and more around the people affected by the atrocity.
3½ things you can't unsee out of 5