“Chapter 23. You can call me Fingerling. My real name is Walter. Walter Paul Sparrow. What you’ve read so far is not the whole truth.”
–Walter Sparrow, “The Number 23”
The Number 23 is not…a great film. Directed by Joel Schumacher—the only man who I think was capable of rendering a Carrey-in-his-prime unfunny (1995’s Batman Forever, the esoteric elements of which I explored in “The Holographic Fantasies Of Edward Nygma” )—the 2007 film is often overblown, murky, sleazy (without irony or art to temper it), and just damn mediocre in places.
But it also is woven with a thread of truly unsettling esotericism—and, as I will show, purposely so.