Some people have got that influential touch that can bring any one out of their comfort zone. There are risk takers and those you play it safe. It's matter of personal choice. The clinically dark yuppie thriller 'Bad Influence' takes on a psychological power play between an enigmatically bold drifter (a tremendously venomous Rob Lowe) and a pinned-down marketing analyst (suitably acted by James Spader). Watch how the relationship grows and slowly treads dangerous ground, as the dream of being confident and striving to overcome one's fears is manipulated into a tormented nightmare of aggression and punishment for simple, ungraspable fulfilment for one's own gain. It's a game on someone's life and Lowe's icy portrayal of the controlling puppeteer works effectively. Sure the fundamental storyline isn't anything new (an old formula ala noir going contemporary) and some plot avenues seem a little too glossed over and hard to fathom, but Curtis Hanson's daringly sharp and tight direction cements intense empowerment and morbid curiosity in certain visual suspense. Using an almost voyeuristic approach he draws upon unearthing the violence, drug habit and sleaze trying to hide behind a materialistic obsessive society. Fascinatingly slick and stylish, and the cruise-like pace moves along well enough. The soundtrack has that steamy, on edge kick that doesn't show its age. Also for one in this time period, it's strangely underplayed and kept in the background. The support cast play trumps to Lowe and Spader, but Lisa Zane titillates in her all too short of a role. Fashionably entertaining psycho-thriller.