Synopsis- College dean Andy Safian (Bill Pullman) and his wife Tracy (Nicole Kidman) have a string of surprises after an old high school classmade of Andy's moves in to rent their third floor, and suddenly nobody is who they appear to be.
Music- Standard thriller music, with the exception of the theme. The theme is this really gothic piece of music. I don't mean screaming angry goth, I mean classical music. But it's really interesting. Together with the opening sequence of the girl riding her bike on a cloudy autumn afternoon, it reminded me of a scene from one of those 80s horror movies like Amityville or The Omen. Movies in that specific vein. I think it was the choral part that made me make htat association. Anyway I liked that a lot.
Acting- Movies like this rely on acting. This is one of those thrillers that chugs along at that moderate thriller pace, until it throws all these silly curveballs at you last-minute. There are some gaping plot holes that you kind of have to take in stride, and accept that they're part of the genre. The curveball thriller genre, that is. There were a lot of red herrings, some more subtle than others, and some of the red herrings looped right back around. Like a red herring pretending to be a red herring. I would say it's clever, only I wrote it off as being bad scriptwriting.
Then there was this truly ridiculous subplot. Roger Ebert said it best when he said "This is the only movie I can recall in which an entire subplot about a serial killer is thrown in simply for atmosphere." It served no purpose at all. Literally. Except for atmosphere, I guess. Totally absurd.
But it was a fun ride, I guess. Just not really worth a repeat viewing.
Did you know that Bill Pullman has a masters degree in directing from UMass Amherst? I took classes there in high school.
Other movies featuring these actors
Alec Baldwin - The Royal Tenenbaums, Notting Hill, Beetlejuice, Cats and Dogs
Bill Pullman- Igby Goes Down, Brokedown Palace, The Thin Red Line, The Last Seduction, Spaceballs
Nicole Kidman- Cold Mountain, The Hours, The Others, Moulin Rouge, Eyes Wide Shut, Batman Forever