Unexpected, twisted little gem
Word Sorceress | Seattle, WA USA | 08/11/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Full disclosure: I rented this film because a former boyfriend of mine was the director of photography and I was curious to see what he'd been up to. For a low-budget film, it is gorgeously filmed (good job, Matt Faw!) and well acted. Given the title and the word "erotic" on the cover, I was expecting the plot to evolve into a kinky threesome, but instead its twistedness takes a whole different route. It starts out normally enough: a couple who's stressed out from trying to get pregnant takes a vacation and allows another couple they don't really know to house-sit. When they get back, the house-sitters won't leave. The mind-games quickly escalate and eventually turn violent and unexpectedly (but very inventively) sadistic. Not a date movie, but definitely worth watching if you like odd, twisted, offbeat films. (And the director's commentary only added to my appreciation of the cast and crew's achievement.)"
Peculiar amalgam of other films
LGwriter | Astoria, N.Y. United States | 01/18/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The first half of this film actually works well because the dynamics of the two couples portrayed are sizzling, punchy, and smart. One of them is a yuppie duo made up of a photographer obsessed with somewhat creepy subjects, and his wife who's equally compulsive in her behavior about trying to become pregnant. These two obvious uptighters are paired off against a couple who are the obvious opposite--wild with enormous libidos, selfish, and inconsiderate. It's when the film progresses to the dynamics of the two men alone that it encounters serious problems. The interaction here is much too forced, contrived; there's a lot of treading water here, but the water is pseudo-water and the treading is thrashing about without a reason. After all, why thrash around in water that's not even water? Without giving away the plot points here, it's just not credible that the dominant one of this male pair would continue to accept the ministrations of the other man after a major problem arises. In addition, the dominant guy's treatment of the other man is much too crudely handled.This obvious lack of credibility ruins the entire second half of the film whose ending would otherwise be very creepy. But because the events leading up to it really don't work, the ending suffers considerably. We just don't buy it.Had the filmmaker thought through the interaction of the two men more carefully and plotted the film in this middle section more believably, this would have been a significantly stronger piece of work. As it is, it is a muddle whose three stars are for the strong first half and some definite creepiness in the ending section. In addition, any title that requires serious cogitation to understand (after which it is STILL not understood) is perhaps somewhat suspect."