This movie is from the time period psychological thrillers were extremely popular ones and this movie also spawned lots of wannabees and ripoffs later on. It's not hard to see why, since this movie does lots of things well and successfully manage to create good atmosphere and tension, without doing all that much really.

Just think about it; this is quite a minimalistic movie. No car chases, no shootouts, no real big name actors. It's simply a subtle movie, like a good psychological thriller also should be like and mostly set at just one location.

Not that it's always a very convincing or perfect movie but as far as these type of movies go, it's definitely one of the more effective ones. It's the type of movie in which a family gets terrorized by person who starts interfering with their lives and tries to set people up against each other, all to achieve her eventual goal.

Some of the events and developments are clearly put in there to add to the movie its thriller elements, while they just don't serve a good clear or significant enough purpose for the movie its main story. It makes it obvious this is a Hollywood movie, in which nothing ever comes as a true surprise either but at least things still get build up and handled well, making it a perfectly effective thriller. No big surprise, once you learn the movie got directed by Curtis Hanson, a person who's always capable of creating a good thriller.

It also feels that this is one of the movies that truly brought back the femme fatale to Hollywood movies again, personified in this movie by Rebecca De Mornay. She's a classic villain, that's perfectly evil and capable of keeping a straight face throughout the entire movie, making it also believable that no one in this movie sees what she is truly up to and who she really is.

I won't go as far to call this is a classic but it still is truly a thriller that does lots of things right and effectively!


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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