- Complete Monster: The Serial Killer, Lucas Harper, Sarah's best friend, infiltrates and plays cat and mouse games with a group of FBI profiler trainees on a field mission to a deserted island used as a training ground by the bureau, where the trainees must solve a case involving a fictional serial killer called "the Puppeteer." He sets the island up with an array of booby traps and puzzles to kill the trainees, while watching from within the group to turn them against each other and give himself good sport. His cruelest murders include a victim being slowly killed with liquid nitrogen from the feet up, and another one burned to death from the inside out by way of acid-laced cigarettes. He kidnaps the trainees' supervisor (who had been monitoring the group in secret) and proceeds to torture him for days before preparing his corpse and hanging it up for the trainees to find as a sort of perverse puppet. It's only after his identity is revealed that the true level of his manipulation becomes apparent, and he frankly admits he started his murder spree by killing his parents as a child and now simply enjoys a good hunt for new and more intelligent victims.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: Bobby and Rafe due to getting the best lines and being Too Cool to Live. Characters played by Eion Bailey usually end up as darkhorses. Harris too since he's Love to Hate.
- Funny Moments:
- Rafe's attempts to profile a man in the bar. He theorises that he's The Casanova with a thing for blondes. Then another guy walks up and starts kissing him.
- Nicole pegs that Gabe is just out of a serious relationship because "he hasn't looked twice at me and Sarah." Gabe's rather annoyed look at this seals it.
- Gabe gets one back when he tells Nicole he can guess she's already sleeping with one of the guys there. Turns out JD is the lucky man.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: The last three standing in this murder mystery have all headlined recent CBS hit mystery shows: Kathryn Morris in Cold Case, LL Cool J in NCIS: Los Angeles, and Jonny Lee Miller in Elementary.
- Jerkass Woobie: Even though Nicole spends the second act of the film sniping at everyone, it's hard not to feel sorry for her when she has to watch JD die. She's clearly devastated by it.
- Narm: Lucas's Deep South accent is incredibly fake and is just hilarious whenever he opens his mouth.
- Narm Charm: The film is quite silly, with Large Ham acting and a healthy amount of Idiot Plot and Plot Holes. However it's still lots of fun and the various traps are incredibly creative. Critics even noted that even though they didn't like the film, they had to keep watching to find out what happened next.
- Nightmare Fuel:
- The deaths are all pretty nasty, but one can imagine parents using a certain scene from this film to warn their children about the "dangers" of smoking.
- Seeing Harris strung up to the ceiling, hanging by his face and limbs with hooks and wires was bad enough, but an alarm goes off that causes his body to jerk around like a puppet while children's music creepily plays.
- The first murder, involving the victim getting sprayed with liquid nitrogen until they shatter into pieces, would not seem remotely out of place in a Saw film.
- The Scrappy: Vince is the least popular of the various students. As a Perpetual Frowner who's always either snapping at the others or complaining about something - he also comes across as an Entitled Bastard. To the point where Gabe kicking him out of his chair to take his gun should feel like a Kick the Dog moment, but comes across as more of a Take That, Scrappy!.
- Special Effects Failure:
- It was perhaps rather unwise of the creators to populate the fictional island with plastic mannequins, as it rather calls attention to when mannequins are used which are meant to be the characters' corpses. Harris's corpse looks particularly shiny and unconvincing.
- The effects shot of the boat exploding looks rather bargain-basement.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: FBI Agents isolated on an island facing a killer hidden among them who has studied them and preys on their psychological weaknesses? Definitely a cool concept. Too bad they follow it up with healthy doses of Gambit Roulette, The Un-Twist ( Seriously, did anyone expect LL Cool J to die? Or be the killer? Or NOT call Jonny Lee Miller as the killer?), and the Idiot Ball.
YMMV / Mind Hunters