Saturday, October 6, 2012


A young, upwardly-mobile sailor (Rob Lowe) begins a relationship with a beautiful heiress (Meg Tilly) who iscurrently fighting over the family fortune with her asshole stepfather. Only, is the sailor really falling in love, or is he part of the stepfather's scheme to have the young woman killed?

This turned out to be more of a modern noir/thriller than a horror/thriller, but I don't mind because it's actually a pretty good one. It's got a classic twisty turny plot, with shocking revelations and shifting alliances. I appreciated the way it evoked old fashioned thrillers without trying to ape their style; the 80's was a time full of neo-noirs that tried to recreate the 50's and often failed. Instead, this one tones down the style and goes for a more straightforward (but extremely well executed) visual construction.

It also, thanks to well-drawn characters and just the right amount of ambiguity, really draws you in to the love story. Tilly and Lowe have great chemistry, and you honestly feel conflicted about whether or not Lowe can be trusted, because you want things to turn out well for them. (And, without spoiling anything, it doesn't necessarily go the way you might expect it). This is a perfect role for Lowe: he has to be handsome and charming, but with a slight sense that something else is going on behind the eyes. It's not nearly as overtly menacing and magnetic as his work in Bad Influence (still his best role, in my opinion), but he's great at letting tension coil under his perfectly put-together surface.

I should also note that this film is stars Lowe, Tilly, Kim Cattrall and Dana Delaney, circa 1988, which is pretty much as sexy of a cast as you can hope for. Both Lowe and Cattrall show the goods. A lot of "erotic thrillers" tend to be more tawdry or, worse, perfunctory, but this is one that comes off as genuinely sexy.

Rating: B

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