You Belong to Me

"Very Good"

You Belong to Me Review


A tip of the reviewer's hat to Sam Zalutsky, the writer/director of You Belong to Me for keeping his thriller short, tight, and remarkably free of clichés that could easily have swamped his tense little story. Yet another drama about New York real estate that turns into a nightmare (we New Yorkers can't get enough of these), it's a film about apartment obsession and crazy landlords. Welcome to Manhattan!

Jeffrey (Daniel Sauli) is a young gay architect so dazzled by a one-night stand with a rakish Frenchman named Rene (Julien Lucas) that when Frenchie dismisses him coldly, Jeffrey doesn't care and sets off on a bit of a stalking mission to see if he can meet him again. His efforts lead to Rene's apartment building, where he meets the landlady, Gladys (Patti D'Arbanville), who points out a vacancy. What a great idea, Jeffrey thinks. I'll move in here and be close to Rene. He'll have to love me then, right?

Dumping his current roommate Nicki (Heather Sims), Jeffrey quickly makes the move and impresses the friendly Gladys with his painting and decorating skills. Jeffrey is settling in nicely until he starts to hear strange moans beneath his floorboards. That's not exactly unusual for New York, but it's still creepy.

At this point, the movie makes a 180. What started out as a gay romance gone wrong becomes something utterly different. To reveal much more would be to wreck it, so suffice it to say Gladys has some issues to work out, and she's counting on close proximity to Jeffrey, very close proximity, to feel better about herself. Suddenly, we're in Rosemary's Baby territory, and Jeffrey is a prisoner in his own home.

What's appealing about You Belong to Me is that it never goes over the top. D'Arbanville could go crazy with her role but she pulls it way back, making her all the more threatening. The rooms are New York tiny, and the fight scenes therein are clumsy and messy and therefore very authentic looking. Jeffrey goes nuts, but not too nuts. The overall effect is to make the story feel more plausible than some sort of Baby Jane knockoff, which is where it could have gone. That plausibility makes it scarier than a predictable roller coaster thriller, especially to New Yorkers who know plenty about sketchy landlords.

Lock change fee: $55.



You Belong to Me

Facts and Figures

Run time: 94 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 22nd October 1941

Budget: 200

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 6.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Sam Zalutsky

Producer: , Sam Zalutsky

Starring: Daniel Sauli as Jeffrey, Julien Lucas as René, Heather Simms as Nicki, as Robert, Patti D'Arbanville as Gladys, George Loros as Calvin

Also starring:

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