Raoul Ruiz apologists have got their work cut out with this musty ‘Sleuth’ imitation which goes right ahead and commits film school no-no number one: never let a blind Tom Conti and Daryl Hannah loose around a stately home together then just sit back and wait for the sparks to fly. It’s the third film that Ruiz has made in collaboration with author/critic Gilbert Adair, though it displays precious little of their vast individual talents. With its unlovely DV aesthetic and cheesy midi-synth score, the film has clearly been put together on the cheap. Yet it’s also severely lacking in the fundamentals, with its leaden script (sample dialogue: ‘You can hear me… smile?’) delivered with nuance-free torpor from Hannah and hysterical thesp showboating from Conti, and free-floating direction which manages to bottle none of the intensity this wicked game of cat and mouse purportedly generates. That and the fact that its final-act reveal appears to have nothing to do with the preceding film means you might want to cross the road to avoid this one.
Cast and crew