Friday 7 April 2023

Movie Review: Malicious (1995)

Genre: Stalking Thriller
Director: Ian Corson
Starring: Molly Ringwald, Patrick McGaw, John Vernon, Sarah Lassez
Running Time: 92 minutes

Synopsis: In Seattle, Doug Gordon (Patrick McGaw) is a pre-med college student and star baseball player attracting professional scouts. When his girlfriend Laura (Sarah Lassez) leaves town for the weekend, Doug succumbs to a seduction by troubled medical student Melissa (Molly Ringwald). He tries to pass it off as a fling and move on with his life, but Melissa has other plans.

What Works Well: The reimagining of Fatal Attraction among college students benefits from a sympathetic central character in Doug, a (mostly) smart and athletic college student quick to regret an ill-advised dalliance. His relationship with girlfriend Laura is also warm. Vancouver and the University of British Columbia (doubling for Seattle locations) offer attractive backdrops.

What Does Not Work As Well: Molly Ringwald struggles mightily to shed her wry good-girl persona and find the darkness within - it's simply not there. She does not flounder alone: all the acting wallows at rudimentary levels, in company with the writing. The attempts to fill-in Melissa's backstory and justify her rage are clumsy in the extreme. As a parable about the dangers of illicit sex, nothing here is subtle, and once the thriller and horror elements shove eroticism out of the way, the plot rushes into ridiculous territory.

Conclusion: Whether in pursuit of a sexual thrill or an image refresh, temptation can lead to darkness.

All Ace Black Movie Blog reviews are here.

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