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"The Hitchhiker" Man of Her Dreams (1986)

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Engrossing episode

Author: Woodyanders ( from The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left
10 April 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Lonely and stressed-out bank employee Jill (a sound and sympathetic performance by the attractive Marilyn Hassett) has troubling psychic premonitions about a vicious serial killer who preys on women. Said killer could be any one of the men in Jill's life. Director Phillip Noyce relates the gripping story at a constant swift pace, stages Jill's fantasy set pieces with real skill and style (a sensuous opening bathtub dream manages to be genuinely erotic without being too explicit), and does a fine job of creating and maintaining a delicately spooky and paranoid atmosphere. Gary Ross' absorbing script offers a good array of creepy and menacing secondary male characters who all might possibly be the maniac. But it's Hassett's sterling acting in the lead that really carries the day here; she manages to catch Jill's deep repression and severe frustration with striking conviction and surprising poignancy. Hassett receives sturdy support from Antony Hamilton as the suave Jim Buckley and Robin Ward as crude macho jerk cop Tony. Moreover, there's a thoughtful quality to this episode which gives it an extra emotional depth and sensitivity that's most unusual for this often grim and brutal series. Reginald H. Morris' sharp cinematography provides a nice polished look and makes neat use of a smoothly gliding mobile camera. Michel Rubini's quivery'n'shivery score likewise does the shuddery trick. An atypically moving and effective change of pace episode.

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