Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Movie Review: Obsessed (2009)


A stalking thriller, Obsessed recycles tired material with obsolete formulation.

In Los Angeles, successful financial executive Derek Charles (Idris Elba), his wife Sharon (Beyoncé) and young child move into a grand new house. At work, new temp Lisa (Ali Larter) immediately sets her eyes on Derek. He is friendly but not interested in an affair.

But Lisa is obsessed, and makes aggressive sexual moves targeting Charles at the Christmas office party, in the office parkade, and finally at an office retreat. A nasty incident results in the police getting involved in the form of Detective Monica Reese (Christine Lahti), and Charles' marriage to Sharon reaches a breaking point. But Lisa is just getting started.

Stomping over well-worn ground covered in much better movies like Play Misty For Me, Fatal Attraction and Disclosure, Obsessed brings nothing new to the story of a psychologically disturbed woman going after her target man. The David Loughery script could have been written in the 1980s, and director Steve Shill translates it to the screen with all the style and sophistication of a cheap television movie-of-the-week.

Other than Sharon's history as Derek's previous assistant, the characters in Obsessed are devoid of context and background. Lisa's disturbed psychology and predatory sexual tendencies just drop on Derek and no one bothers to investigate her history once she unleashes her venom. Derek makes every wrong choice at every available opportunity, including exposing himself to Lisa's blatant attacks, failing to communicate with Sharon, and most obviously not reporting Lisa's behaviour to the office human resources department.

Idris Elba, Beyoncé and Ali Larter go through the motions with sombre stiffness, soundly defeated by the crayon-level character definitions. Beyoncé gets to spout lines like "Nobody touches my child!" and "You think you're crazy? I'll show you crazy!" before the predictable final violent showdown, plenty of broken furniture joining all the rest of the artistic wreckage on display.






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