Wild Things (1998) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • 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.

  • Sam Lombardo is a high school counselor living in Blue Bay in South Florida, whose life is turned upside down. Kelly Van Ryan, the sexy and seductive daughter of billionaire Sandra Van Ryan, one of Blue Bay's powerful and elite members of the community who has a crush on Sam accuses him of raping her. It gets even worse for Sam, when troubled bad girl Suzie Toller steps forward and claims that Sam also raped her. With Sam's career ruined, he loses respect from his students and the community, while believing both Kelly and Suzie have framed him. Sam hires freelance lawyer Ken Bowden to defend him in court. Investigating the case, police detective Ray Duquette suspects a conspiracy involving Sam, Kelly and Susie, and finds nothing is what it seems.

  • Sam Lombardo is a well-respected Florida high school guidance counselor who gets his life turned upside down when two students, spoiled rich-girl Kelly Van Ryan, and trailer-trash bad-girl Suzie Toller, bring rape charges against him in which local police detective Ray Duquette investigates the allegations. But not everything is what it appears to be and the big question arises: who is deceiving who?

  • When High School Guidance counselor Sam Lombardo is accused of raping the popular student Kelly Van Ryan, his carefully structured life is ruined. But as the case heads to trial, an outcast school girl Suzie, may have information to free Sam. But the investigating Detective Ray, thinks that a more devious plan is at work that involves Sam, Kelly, and Suzie. As Ray digs deeper into the case, he uncovers a scheme that has very high stakes and where nothing is as it seems.

  • A decent teacher is accused by one of his students for raping her, after he seemingly refuses to make love with her. Most people believe him to be innocent, but when another student of his starts claiming the same for her, things get really difficult

  • A police detective uncovers a conspiracy behind a case involving a high-school guidance counselor when accusations of rape are made against him by two female students.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Two female students -- wealthy, popular Kelly Van Ryan (Denise Richards) and goth trailer dweller Suzie Toller (Neve Campbell) -- accuse Sam Lombardo (Matt Dillon), a high school guidance counselor, of rape. Before this, Sam gives Kelly a ride home, at which time they listen to both Third Eye Blind and Smash Mouth on a car stereo. During the trial, Suzie reveals that Sam did not rape her and that Kelly fabricated the charges because she was in love with him and angry that he slept with her mother. The trial humiliates Kelly and her entire family, and Sam receives a generous settlement ($8.5 million), which he uses to retire peacefully. It is then revealed that Sam, Kelly, and Suzie orchestrated the scandal with the aim of taking the money from the trial.

    As police sergeant Ray Duquette (Kevin Bacon) becomes suspicious, Suzie becomes increasingly nervous and Sam worries that she will undermine their plan. After Kelly has an affair with Suzie, Sam and Kelly take her to the seaside, where Sam murders Suzie with a wine bottle. In the investigation into Suzie's disappearance, police find her blood and teeth by the ocean. Ray discovers Sam is the killer and goes to Kelly's house to protect Kelly from Sam. In the confrontation between Kelly and Ray, both are shot, Kelly fatally. Ray explains how she shot at him and he had to return fire. Ray is discharged from the police force following this incident, while Sam spends time at a tropical resort. Sam goes to his room and finds Ray there -- Ray and Sam had been collaborating the whole time.

    They later go cruising in Sam's boat in the ocean, where Sam knocks Ray overboard. When Ray climbs back onboard, Suzie, alive and now with blonde hair, shoots him with a spear gun and Ray disappears into the surf. Before Ray falls over, he pleads to Sam for help. Sam would say "you should not have killed Kelly", signifying he and Suzie showed no remorse in having to kill Ray. As Sam relaxes, Suzie gives him a drink laced with poison and knocks him overboard. She sails the boat back to shore by herself.

    A series of flashbacks explains the story. Suzie devised the plan, in which she wished to receive the money from the trial, as payback to her wealthy stepsister Sandra Van Ryan (Kelly's mother played by Theresa Russell) for being scorned and abandoned by their father. Suzie also wanted to kill Ray in revenge for killing her friend, Davie, some time ago (Davie tried to intervene to protect a prostitute that Ray was roughing up, so Ray killed him, then busted Suzie for drugs and sent her away to a correctional facility so she couldn't be a witness against him). She manipulated all the characters in the plot, making Sam seem the mastermind and faking her own death (she had photos of Sam and Kelly partaking in drugs and underage kinky sex to blackmail Sam into joining the plot). She was underestimated because of her delinquency and poor background. Those who knew her say her IQ was around 200 and, if she put her mind to it, "she could do anything." As for Kelly's death, Ray shot her first and then put a gun in her hand and made it appear that she had shot at him.

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