SLICK AND DIFFERENT
Michael Butts | Martinsburg, WV USA | 04/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"PARANOIA focuses on a young woman who witnessed the senseless murder of her family by a demented madman named Calvin Hawkes. Because she saw a brilliant light at the time, she is now afraid of the light, not the dark. She has become an interior designer, pretty much a recluse in her darkened apartment, having psychiatric sessions with a doctor on her computer. Into her life resurfaces a young man she grew up with, a hunky football player who admits he was interested in her, but felt she was unapproachable. And now, the woman is receiving instant message conversations with the imprisoned Hakes, who is threatening her, and saying he will get her like he did her family. She calls the prison and after some obstacles, discovers that Hawkes is getting out on probation. This just begins the miasma of plot twists writer/director Larry Brand serves up.
I liked this movie because it's simple, not overly gory and melodramatic. Brigitte Bako as the heroine is very convincing; Sally Kirkland does a nice cameo as the psychiatrist; Robert Floyd is a nice combination of machismo and sensitivity; and of course, Larry Drake is cool as the mad executioner. It is by no means a flashy movie, and it's cool atmosphere makes it a haunting movie."
Don't confuse this one with the "giallo" original
L. S. Slaughter | Chapel Hill, NC | 02/15/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"No, this is not the sleazy-awful-fun Carroll Baker 'Giallo' thriller from Italy with the same title (in Italy the title was "Orgasmo") released in 1968 that had a rich widow captive in her own mansion to her sexually menancing gardener and his bisexual girlfriend, listening to groovy Piero Umilani music while they wrapped her up in mind-and-sex games. I guess if you've completely run out of grade B thrillers to watch, this 1998 release rates OK. Decent technical, but the storyline is tired, and it has been done better."