The zesty, scandalous plot device at the center of the film and the sole reason the movie became a fairly big hit in 1993 can be summed up in one line: "Suppose... I were to offer you one million dollars for one night with your wife." And yes, that surface exposition is intriguing in its glossy, high-concept way. But in truth, the appeal of that tantalizing conundrum gets lost in a muddle of a screenplay that really is not about that spicy million-dollar offer, but rather a tepid, long-winded story of a relationship tested by temptation. In theory, the material could work. In practice, Indecent Proposal is a bland, melodramatic sit.
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This Starz-produced documentary (which oddly has no director credited) gives a dutiful breakdown of the slasher flick's birth, death, rebirth, redeath, and so on until we reach the present day. As you might expect, progenitors Halloween and Friday the 13th get the bulk of screen time, with a goodly amount of footage devoted to interviews with the cast and crew (no Jamie Lee, alas). Every angle is covered, from special effects to script, but the film mostly focuses on the cultural impact of the slasher movie: Kids loved 'em, critics vilified them, and parents weren't happy at all when Santa Claus started killing people.
Continue reading: Going To Pieces: The Rise And Fall Of The Slasher Film Review
The Rich Man's Wife blindly ignores both of these rules, but still manages to float, thanks to a united effort by an exceptional cast and exquisite production values. Amy Holden Jones directs her own screenplay here, a modern-day reworking of Hitchcock's masterful Strangers on a Train.
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The BBC drama starring Aidan Turner returns to BBC One on September 4th.