|Category||Thriller||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 1 - 1.85:1 16x9, Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Year Released||1998||Commentary Tracks||None|
(Not 108 Minutes as per packaging)
|Other Extras||Cast & Crew Biographies|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|RRP||$34.95||Music||George S. Clinton|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||No||MPEG||5.1|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
||Soundtrack Languages||English (MPEG 5.1, 256Kb/s)
English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||
|Subtitles||None||Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, during credits|
The story is set in Blue Bay, an exclusive upper-class society somewhere in Florida. The film opens with shots of the natural environment there, which blend into the first dialogue sequence. Guidance counsellor Sam Lombardo (Matt Dillon in one of his few watchable roles) is in the process of introducing two police officers from the sex crimes department of the local precinct: Ray Duquette (Kevin Bacon) and Gloria Perez (Daphne Rubin-Vega). After the principal characters are introduced to the viewer, we go into the day that Kelly Van Ryan (Denise Richards), one of the most powerful heiresses of the community, accuses Sam of sexual assault. Soon, the questionable truth of her allegations take a back seat to the power of her mother, Sandra (Theresa Russell) and her enormous sway over every facet of society in Blue Bay. As she sets out to destroy Sam's life, the detectives eventually hear actual corroborating testimony from a young woman from a nearby poorer area of the city, who goes by the name of Suzie Toller (Neve Campbell). We soon learn that young Toller is not all she appears to be, but more on this later. As the film progresses, we are told that Kelly came to Suzie with the idea of framing Sam as a rapist. Both have convincing reasons for wanting to do such a thing to him: Kelly is jealous of all the other women, her mother included, in Blue Bay with whom she is competing for his affections. Suzie, however, has a much darker, sinister motive revolving around Sam's and Ray's individual mistreatments of her, a motive that seems to unfold more and more with every sequence she appears in. Without giving too much else away, I'll just say that Neve Campbell may not be well-suited to the role of Suzie Toller at all, but she puts in an interesting performance that I certainly would have been proud of even though I probably would have a lot more in common with her character.
Plot-wise, this film is like a washing machine. Immerse yourself in it too deeply for too long, and it will make you sick with all the sharp turns and directional changes. John McNaughton, whose other credits include Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer and Mad Dog And Glory, seems quite in his element exploring the darker side of peoples' natures. In the hands of a director less competent in this area, Wild Things could have easily descended into the level of a farce. This film is definitely not for people who expect to be entertained without giving their brain a bit of a moderate workout, so don't show it to anyone who actually enjoyed the recent remake Godzilla. If you, like me, are one of the three percent of people in the world who have an IQ above 145, I must give you an extra bit of advice about this film: don't watch it with people who aren't. Listening to their constant running off at the mouth about plot details they don't fully understand at first, as I learned the hard way, is somewhat akin to jabbing a fork into your groin every two minutes. It might seem like fun in a masochistic way at first, but it soon gets painfully tiresome.
MPEG artefacts were happily absent from the presentation. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of very minor aliasing in venetian blinds, and some very slight telecine wobble. The film artefacts were virtually non-existent, although there did appear to be a very quick film spot in one corner at a point where I've forgotten it. You're probably going to be looking more closely at other things during this film, anyway. This DVD brings some of my favourite scenes in this film to the point of being so life-like that I honestly started to wish for a more interactive experience (smell-o-vision, anyone?).
George S. Clinton's score music was well-suited to the on-screen action, especially the slower, more relaxed moments of the film. His score perfectly suits the mood of all the scenes which it accompanies, which makes me wonder if he's ever worked on the kind of films that are only sold on the shelves in Canberra. Some of the numbers bore a resemblance to scores from pornographic films I've long forgotten the names of, except it had quite a bit more class. The music does an admirable job of building an atmosphere, which helps sustain the interest just that little bit longer.
The surround channels were frequently utilised for nearly all sounds, giving the film a very enveloping presence almost from start to finish. The bass channel was used well enough to sustain music and effects. This is a film that was just made for the format.
The video quality is wonderful in spite of minor problems.
The audio quality is excellent.
The extras are rather disappointing.
|DVD||Grundig GDV 100D with Euroconnector output|
|Display||Sumsung 80cm, via S-video input|
|Speakers||Panasonic S-J1500D Front Speakers, Sharp CP-303A Back Speakers, Philips FB206WC Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Subwoofer|