A newcomer to a Catholic prep high school falls in with a trio of outcast teenage girls who practice witchcraft and they all soon conjure up various spells and curses against those who even slightly anger them.
In south Florida, a high school counselor is accused of rape by a manipulative rich girl and her trailer trash classmate. The cop on the case begins to suspect a conspiracy and dives into an elaborate and devious web of greed and betrayal to find the truth. Written by
Much more intelligent than it is often given credit for...
During the very limited theatrical run that Wild Things recieved here (I think it was gone in about three weeks), a lot of the reviews and publicity created the impression that this was a soap opera sex thriller. I guess that's an easy approach to take when summing this film up, since its two female leads featured in Party Of Five and episodes of Doogie Howser (man what an awful show that was), not to mention that one of the male leads would be doing well to act his way out of a wet paper bag. The problem with that is that it is just too easy, and easy answer is exactly the sort of thing that this film goes out of its way to avoid. It is not trying to be a modern Hitchcock, it is not trying to be another Basic Instinct, it is just trying to tell a story.
The story, such as it is, seems to revolve around Blue Bay High School, the town it is located in, and its snobby, high-income elite, at least in the first reel. We are introduced to all four of the characters who will figure prominently in the story to come during a lecture to the students in their senior year. There's Sam the guidance counsellor, Ray the corrupt policeman, Kelly the daughter of the wealthiest real estate mogul in town, and Suzie the girl from the caravan park across town. All four of these characters have secrets they'd rather not share with any other inhabitant of the town, but that all comes apart when Kelly accuses Sam of raping her. Suzie corroborates her story at first, but then we get our first inkling that things are not all they seem, through the efforts of Bill Murray in one of his best cameos ever. The whole thing is seemingly a conspiracy between Sam, Suzie, and Kelly, but we are never shown whose idea it is until the very end.
This next passage will ruin a key surprise the film has in store, so don't read it if you haven't seen it. Unless things have radically changed in this regard during the last ten years, psychologists and other such professionals do not tell test subjects exactly what their IQ is. Even if Suzie or her mother did know exactly, this whole point is delivered with such sledgehammer force that it almost utterly ruins the subtle, slow buildup that the rest of the film exhibited. Were they just running out of money when it came time to film this spot and just decided to go with the quickest, simplest thing they could do? It would have been much more effective and satisfying if the ugly cop (I forget the name) had just spent five or ten minutes going through whatever Suzie had left behind on her run to the Carribean. Summing up this plot point in fifteen seconds was an exceptionally bad move.
Overall, however, you can't really go wrong with this film for an evening's entertainment. It doesn't feel the need to talk down at its audience, it doesn't resort to excess simplicity to make itself understood (except for the aforementioned ending), it just tells a story and tells it reasonably well. It is also another great example of DVD's utter superiority, especially during the threesome scene. When this part of the film is shown in its proper aspect ratio, you can make out every character and certain little details I'm sure that Denise Richards would appreciate not having available to horny teenage boys in a freezable and zoomable format. When was the last time you zoomed in on an actress' boobs with a VHS cassette, assuming they were left in frame after some jerk with an editing console chopped it down to fit those garbage 4:3 screens?
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