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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

COD: Terminal Stupidity.

Author: Robert J. Maxwell ( from Deming, New Mexico, USA
10 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As these things go, it's not too bad -- about average maybe.

It's a revenge story in which an evil and psychotic man, Caulfield, insinuates himself into a normal household. He is the perfect tenant, occupying the guest house in the rear. Like most tenants, or rather like most people, he isn't everything he seems.

There are twists and turns in the plot as the tenant first murders Linda Purl's dad, leaving only Purl and her teenage daughter alone in the house -- two helpless women.

Oh, and Caulfield has a kind of dumb-witted accomplice, the ex-psychiatric patient played by Traci Nelson. For my part, she takes the acting palm. She looks heftier -- more succulent and less virginal than she did as the nun in that TV series, whatever it was. It helps that hers is the most colorful and least stereotyped role. She's in love with Caulfield and has tracked him down in his new identity. The fact that he doesn't give a hoot about her, that he only took all of her money because that's all he wanted, means nothing to her. The conventionalism of the script (by Castaldo and Bonin, who I hope isn't trying to be amusing) doesn't give her any more of a break than Caulfield does. She enters an empty house where he has agreed to meet with her. Just after she's walked through the front door he springs up behind her and begins strangling her. She disables him momentarily, knocking him to the floor, but instead of running back outside she scurries up the stairs, allowing him to follow. He clips her on the jaw and pins her on the bed. "Gulp. I love you," she manages to gasp, just before he bashes her brains out with a phone.

The stupidity continues. The teenage boyfriend of Purl's daughter has agreed to follow Caulfield around to find out who he is. Okay. Caulfield goes into an empty house. A few minutes later, Traci Nelson goes into the house. Pause. The sound of a gun shot. The boy looks puzzled and annoyed. "Now what was that?" he asks aloud. Shortly Caulfield exits the premises lugging along a stone-heavy crate functional to the extent that it can contain a human dead body. Caulfield heaves the crate up into his trunk and drives to a remote place. One of those "densely wooded areas" where all dead bodies are found, regardless of whether they've been subject to "an execution-style murder" or a "ritual murder." Anyway -- I hope you're following this -- anyway, Caulfield is spied upon by the teenager while he unloads the crate. It flops open and an arm falls out. So what does the kid do? Well, precisely the same thing you would do. He goggles, takes out his camera, starts sneaking closer for a better look or a better picture, steps on a twig and cracks it, and is chased through the woods by a murderer armed with a pistol.

But -- wait for it -- the kid is a clever boots. He steps from behind a tree and whomps the murderer in the chest with a log, knocking the guy to the ground. The kid picks up the pistol. Caulfield runs away. The kid, instead of beating it back to his car and zipping off into the cerulean horizon, CHASES the killer, shooting wildly at him. He misses with every shot, and it's no wonder. He's holding the pistol in the faddish sideways position he picked up from watching too many action movies. When he empties the pistol, he stands there in a state of tonic immobility, while Caulfield emerges from cover, regains the pistol, puts a new clip in, and -- well, I don't want to spoil it for you.

It's not worth going on about. The movie doesn't require a suspension of disbelief. It practically demands the smothering of consciousness itself. Don't miss it if you can.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Like father like son

Author: helpless_dancer from Broken Bow, Oklahoma
28 February 2004

It was strange seeing Earl Holliman playing an old man having a heart attack: I remember him as a two fisted hoss playing alongside The Duke and other action heroes from the past. Good to see Linda Purl again also; can't forget her memorable performance as Superbitch putting the bad hurt on Jane Seymour in "The Absolute Truth". This film, however, will not find a place on my list of favorites as it was merely a run of the mill multiple murder yarn. It was nevertheless entertaining and well done - just bland. The sins of the father were visited on the son who grows up to be a total nutcase who plans revenge on an innocent woman for his father's suicide. Max Caulfield was effective as the smiling tenant with a heart of evil.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Run of the mill thriller

Author: PL1981 from Australia
9 August 2007

"The Perfect Tennant" can perhaps best adequately be summarized as a run-of-the mill thriller. While it is not unwatchable, it is not particularly good either and it contributes nothing to the genre

Most of the actors perform their roles well. Maxwell Caulfield does a good job in portraying a psychotic and cold-blooded individual haunted by memories of his childhood and determined to act upon his beliefs. Earl Holliman is also excellent and very convincing as Jessica's father and gives a great deal of depth and dimension to his character –even though it is a relatively minor one in the whole scheme of the movie. Tracey Nelson does a fine job in her role as a mental patient who is being used and manipulated by Caulfield The actress who plays Caulfield's character's sister also improves in her acting toward the end of the movie.

But unfortunately Linda Purl does not perform well in her role as one of the major characters. She appears much too stiff and wooden and lacks the depth and the emotion required to be a success in that particular character role. The same is true of the actress who plays her daughter.

In all fairness to the actors and actresses, however, they are not given a very good script to work from. The dialogue is quite often clichéd and tedious and some of the one-liners are so melodramatic and over the top that they are absolutely hilarious. The whole plot is predictable if you're a fan of the genre and you can more or less guess what will happen long before it unfolds. And the first part of the movie is disjointed and confusing and hard to follow Probably due to the performance of Caulfield and the supporting cast against all the odds, this movie is not as bad as it could be. But there are much better movies in this genre –"The Hand that Rocks the Cradle" comes to mind

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

always get rental references

Author: petershelleyau from Sydney, Australia
27 January 2003

Jessica Michaels (Linda Purl) rents her guesthouse to Daniel Winters (Maxwell Caulfield), unaware that he is is the son of the school teacher who molested her as a child. Daniel has been in a psychiatric institution (the reason for his commitment and his method of release are unexplained) and is set on avenging the father that hanged himself before he could be charged.

As an associate producer, Purl possibly influences director Doug Campbell in giving her two slow motion admiration shots - Daniel's first look at her, and her memory as she passe her former school in a car. Purl lends her strong presence and has enough technique to put a spin on the ordinary lines she is given. In one scene Daniel hugs her and the combination of neuroses says more than anything else that Campbell can muster.

The teleplay by Jim Vines, M Todd Bonin and Campbell, based on a story by Mark Castaldo, is lightweight, though it does have 2 funny lines. When Jessica sees that Daniel's book collection is stamped with the name of the psychiatric institution, her daughter quips `I hear it's not easy to turn pages in a straitjacket', and fellow former inmate Rachel (Tracy Nelson) says to Daniel after he tries to strangle her `I know this is only a temporary situation for us'. The appearance of Daniel's sister in the narrative prefigures the conclusion, though his one controlling way of treating her sets up an expectation which is not fulfilled.

Campbell seems more interested in creating a horror movie than a psychological study. He dwells sadistically on Daniel's killing of the former tenant and attack on Rachel, and uses an appropriately unsubtle music score by Richard Bowers. In spite of Nelson's quirkiness being under-used, Campbell does defy expectations with her entrance in the way she uses Daniel's gun, gets a laugh from the cartoon chase Daniel has with someone tracking him, and provides a cut from the boy seeing his hanged father to the boy's eyes becoming Daniel's in close-up. Caulfield may not be convincing as a traumatised person, even given he may have been released because he is thought to be better or at least on medication. Presumably he is cast because of his fading pretty boy looks, though Campbell does allows him to parody Purl's anguish in the climax.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Waste of good actors

Author: guilfisher-1 from New York City
31 October 2006

This 2000 supposedly thriller was by M. Todd Bonin and Jim Vines from a story by Mark Castaldo and directed by Doug Campbell who also was co-writer. So many guys involved with this and what a mess they all turned out. Won't belabor the story but it's all about deception. In this case a nice all-American good looking young man who rents the guest cottage from a lovely young thing who lives with her father and daughter in the big house. The rest is all suspense, or supposed to be. Linda Purl, as the woman of the house, is not the best of actresses. She was also slow on getting what was going on around her. Why is it the heroine is always brain dead? And then in the end she suddenly gets all this courage and intelligence to do our villain in? Maxwell Caufield, as the young man who moved in, was very good as the villain. I was hoping he'd get away with the crime with all the stupidity around him. Stacy Hogue as the daughter had a few moments, but only a few. She spent most of the time spying on our villain until she finally got the message but too late. Oh, well. Tracy Nelson, Ricky's daughter, I've seen before in something where she was psychotic, but not sure what. She did the most stupid thing by escaping, not outside and she could have, but upstairs where she could get caught. Another stupid mistake. Oh, and the boy friend to Stacy, makes the most stupid mistake. When he's spotted by the killer in the woods, and gets the chance to escape, he grabs the gun and chases him till he's out of bullets. Another stupid character and choice. Melissa Behr plays an interesting role convincingly. However, at first you think she's on our side until she begins to get in trances, one after another. And finally there's Earl Holliman, who's body of work is amazing. His work is respected by many (GIANT, RAINMAKER) but what a waste of that talent in this. However, even in the small role he played, he was the most convincing. Caufield wasn't bad. That's why I wanted him to win. So, I give this 2 stars for Holliman and Caufield, two interesting actors.

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The Psycho Next Door

Author: sol1218 from brooklyn NY
5 March 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

(There are Spoilers) Casing out the Michaels' residence Dan Summer, using the name Brain Heartwell, plans to move in but there's only one problem. The spare room for rent is already occupied. Being a guy who doesn't take no for an answer Dan fixes that pressing problem by murdering not only the occupant of the room Carrie but her boyfriend Daryl as well!

Having just been released from the Greely Mental Institution Dan, taking the name of his psychiatrist, wants only one thing in life: Get even with the person who drove his dad, a former Teacher of the Year, to kill himself! That person just happens to be Jessica Michaels! The person whom he's about to rent a room from in her house!

Jessica as a young girl was inappropriately touched by her drama teacher Mr.Summer who tried to get into her pants or dress. Mr. Summer being indited for sexual molestation and fired from his job hanged himself on Christmas Eve with his nine-year-old son Dan discovering his body! Dan having it in for Jessica all these years is now in the position to finally get even. **SPOILER ALERT***What Dan will later find out is that his "innocent" dad was a serial rapist with one of his victims being his daughter, and Dan's sister, Andrea. Dan in his deteriorating mental state loses focus on what he's supposed to do by murdering some half dozen persons before he finally get around to his original intended victim Jessica Michaels.

A I was watching the movie I kept wondering just how this very obvious off-the-wall and dangerous psycho was released, if in fact he escaped, from the Greely Mental Institution in the first place! Dan was anything but smart in what he did where you can spot his weirdo-like insanity as soon as you laid eyes on him. So why didn't the psychiatrist see that at the institution that he was committed to! In fact it seemed like nobody in the movie except Jessica's adopted daughter Laura had even an inkling to how crazy Dan was. And Laura was just your normal high-school teenager not a certified or licensed doctor or psychiatrist!

The film tries, with very little success, to follow the usual pattern of the psycho pretending to be normal storyline except that Dan is anything but normal in the movie. Murdering persons like Jessica's dad Mr. Michaels who actually liked the crazy nut as well as his girlfriend, like him a former mental patient, Rachael who, despite treating her like dirt, worshiped the ground he walked on didn't help Dan either. All that did was just throw suspicion on Dan to what a loose nut and potential psycho killer he really was.

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Author: tami615 from Arlington, Texas
9 October 2003

i have to admit i'm not a real fan of thriller movies or any movie with violence (but i liked Silence of the Lambs!)...I'm mostly into romance movies like When Harry met Sally, etc. But I really like Maxwell Caulfield (I don't care what anybody says, he was good in Grease 2!) and Linda Purl is always good and so pretty to look at (rememebr her on Happy Days?) So I rented Perfect Tenant and I really enjoyed it. Maxwell is so bad. I mean this in a good way. He's a bad guy. HE's really creepy and sinister. I watched the movie alone and had to make sure my doors were locked. Maybe I'm just paranoid, who knows. But I liked this movie and recommend it!

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Creepy and good!!!!!

Author: arizonacactus2000 from Scottsdale, Arizona
3 June 2003

My girlfriend rented this movie the other day because she looooves Maxwell Caulfield. I have to say i was pretty impressed. Good acting and creepy scenes. Yes, Maxwell Caulfield is quite good also. So was everyone else. It was great seeing Earl Hollimon. I remember him from all those movies from the 1950's and 1960's and "police Woman" from the 1970s. He's a real pro. All in all for "Perfect Tenant, a thumbs up!

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A good little thriller very well written.

Author: susanfranzblau2001 from Los Angeles
18 February 2004

For a straight to video film, this is surprisingly good. It has a very solid script, good actors, and a good director. The tension slowly builds up and the deaths are "clean" which is a nice change from what we usually get. Maxwell Caulfield gives a solid performance. I really enjoyed it.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A solid thriller; definitely worth viewing...

Author: FilmFella from Seattle, WA
26 July 2000

I wasn't expecting much when I rented it but I was fairly surprised. Overall, "PT" is a solid little flick that accomplishes exactly what it's supposed to. Great performance by Maxwell Caulfield. Linda Purl and Earl Holliman (as daughter and father) are quite good, as is the rest of the cast. Script and all technical aspects are above par. Definitely engaging and worth watching.

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