The Hand That Rocks the Cradle
Time Out saysClaire (Sciorra), happily married and pregnant, is molested during a visit to her gynaecologist. The ensuing investigation results in the doctor's suicide, thus causing his pregnant wife (De Mornay) to miscarry. De Mornay finds solace in an elaborate revenge which involves posing as a nanny and gaining employment with Claire in order to wreak havoc. Screenwriter Amanda Silver gleefully exploits parental fears, and skilfully depicts the shifting loyalties, malevolence and escalating paranoia within Claire's household. But as the film progresses, malicious schemes and loony excesses are combined, with Hanson's self-conscious direction rendering one particularly sensational murder even more implausible. Subtler and more involving are sequences which show the splendidly unnerving De Mornay in coercive, threatening mode.