by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

With the police hot on their tails and a dead body in their boot, a fugitive Aussie couple takes refuge in which they believe to be an abandoned mansion. It turns out to be inhabited by a rich agoraphobic, whom they immediately bind and gag for future use as a hostage or shield. That is the premise for a cat-and-mouse game between the hostage and his captors in which the victim uses every tool at his disposal to wheedle, cajole, and hoodwink the people who will determine whether he lives or dies. The rich man convinces the couple that he can get them a large sum of getaway capital if they stay around for two days and withdraw money from the bank for him, with the female impersonating his long-absent fiancée. In the course of that time, he isolates the woman, who is sensitive and has committed no crimes herself, and fills her head with the idea that she is capable of walking away from the charges and starting a new life - the kind of life she deserves. As the woman's sadistic boyfriend begins to understand what is happening between the other two, his temper starts to explode more and more often, and the violence levels escalate.

Additional dramatic tension is provided when the police stop by the mansion from time to time, ostensibly to check up on the rich man. The really taut moments occur when the working class woman has to go to the bank disguised as the rich fiancée, at which time she may or may not be recognized by a bank officer whom she bumped into at a gas station the previous day - just before her boyfriend killed the station attendant.

I love a good erotic thriller, but it is difficult to find one. Most of the time we genre fans have to settle for either an interesting story or some titillation, not both, because the combination seems about as easy to find as the Holy Grail. You can just about count the great erotic thrillers of the color film era on one hand: Body Double, Body Heat, the remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice, maybe Basic Instinct ... and?

As a genre fan, I must tip my hat to screenwriter Dave Warner and director David Denneen, who produced a film which does deliver on both parts of the elusive combination, a feat made more impressive because Denneen has never before made a feature-length film, and because the film is essentially a three-character stage play, which is a form not easily converted to good cinema.

To cut to the chase, let me offer a laundry list of the things I like about this film:

1. I'll begin with the erotica. Teresa Palmer is a good actress who has a beautiful face and the body of a centerfold. She is not shy about exposing that body in delectable ways. There are some sex scenes with both men, but my favorite bit of erotica is a brief scene in which the rich man is stuffed into the bathtub, bound to the faucets, and Teresa walks past him stark naked to get to the shower. She taunts the reserved man with her toned and curvaceous shape, and the cinematography shows just enough to let us see how he must be reacting, while it simultaneously holds back enough to get us involved and make us want more.

2. The story-telling is subtle and clever. The film leaves several details unexplained, yet the evidence is there in front of us, if we choose to use our eyes and then to think about what we have seen. If you watch the film, note carefully how the film shows that the murderer has disposed of his car and decided to use the rich man's vintage Mercedes to drive away, and then note how the film show precisely where and how the murderer's car has been disposed of. Also note how the film underplays the two meetings between the girlfriend and the bank officer. The oblique narrative technique is very involving, but this is not a film that you can watch while you're doing something else. It demands that you pay attention to all the details, right up to the conclusion. The ending of the film actually leaves us hanging about the future of two of the characters, yet the script has planted subtle clues along the way which tell us that all may not go as those two have planned. The script lays out enough possibilities that we can mentally write our own endings, and then debate our theories when the film has ended.

3. The calculating nature of the agoraphobic man is gradually revealed, and even darker secrets are only hinted at. The stuttering rich man seems at first to be a helpless victim, but as he slowly turns the tide in his favor, we find that we are not rooting for him as enthusiastically as we might. There is something about him which is so manipulative and cold that we are led to wonder which of the two men before us is really the bad guy. By the end of the film, I was convinced that the so-called victim had probably murdered his own missing fiancée, although that idea is never stated explicitly anywhere in the film.

4. The cinematography is excellent. The film has been meticulously storyboarded to tell the story visually, and the director of photography captured the right mood by using a blue-grey palette somewhere between color and B&W, which allows him to create moody exterior shots while capturing the gothic menace of the mansion.

5. The editing and pacing are also excellent. Virtually every situation in the film is laden with tension of some kind, and the viewer involvement is accentuated by the score. (To be honest, I thought the score was intrusive in some spots, but if you think of the great erotic thrillers, you'll realize that is quite typical of the genre, in which the score is often used as another guilty pleasure.)

I would be happy enough to watch a sexy thriller with a story that holds my attention, but when it is also made with intelligence and élan on a bare-bones budget, I have to commend the outstanding work from the writer, director, editor, cinematographer, and actors - as well as Teresa Palmer's parents for donating those genes. Impressive.


* widescreen anamorphic

* whatever







No reviews online.











6.3 IMDB summary (of 10)








No theatrical release in North America.









  • There is a brief look at Stephen Moyer's butt.
  • Teresa Palmer shows her breast and buns.









Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


It is top-notch genre fare.