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Perfect Strangers - Review 15


AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW
4 October 2003



A MAD, BLACK PSYCHO-DRAMA

Set largely on an island off the romantic West Coast of the South island of new Zealand, Perfect Strangers starts out as formulaic as Fatal Attraction – then turns into a psychological study of survival before leaving you at the end thinking you've been watching a fable.

It's a difficult film to categorise although the plot is quite straightforward. It suggests young women shouldn't go off with strangers they meet in pubs – especially when drunk…..

Written and directed by Gaylene Preston this two hander is assembled with surprising sureness. The performances by Neill and Blake are complex and involving as Melanie enters a bizarre version of the Stockholme Syndrome with a frozen cadaver.

Had the film been a little tighter, and the action more compressed, it would have been the best Hitchcockian film since Hitchcock. As it is, it's still pretty good.


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