Never Talk to Strangers


Action / Crime / Drama / Romance / Thriller


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February 19, 2015 at 08:59 AM



Rebecca De Mornay as Dr. Sarah Taylor
Antonio Banderas as Tony Ramirez
Harry Dean Stanton as Max Cheski
Len Cariou as Henry Taylor
720p 1080p
701.02 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 26 min
P/S 3 / 7
1.24 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 26 min
P/S 8 / 13

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Spikeopath 5 / 10

Erotic thriller dulls the senses...

Brian De Palma has often come in for some flak over the years, his penchant for sticking tight to Alfred Hitchcock thriller formula has been the source of much consternation in certain quarters. Yet when you view something like Peter Hall's Never Talk to Strangers it rams home just how welcome it is to have Hitch like thrillers at least done well!

Rebecca De Mornay is a troubled shrink who whilst dealing with the mind games of a serial killing loony (Harry Dean Stanton), meets sexually charged Latino guy (Antonio Banderas) and indulges in passions unbound. Then she starts to get very unwelcome presents in the post...

The erotic thriller has been well trodden, and will continue to be so for sure, so it feels a little churlish to decry Hall's movie for coming off as a weak willed imitator of previous purveyors of the sub-genre, but this blend of Silence of the Lambs meets Sea of Love - cum - Dressed to Kill - cum Fatal Attraction etc etc just comes across as a cheat. And that's because it is!

The makers know this and try to hide their ridiculous folly behind eroticism as the two lovely looking headlining stars get sweaty and wet, indulging in sexual play that's as powerful as the surroundings (Banderas lives in a loft apartment resplendent with metal cage and wrought iron doors). But, or should that be butt? The mystery element is weak, the suspense equally so, while the back story of De Mornay's father (a key character) is hopelessly under developed.

Then there is H.D. Stanton, stealing every scene is he is in, quid pro quo indeed, yet he's hardly in the film, which ultimately proves to be a tragedy as the plot hurtles towards its implausible and risible revelations. Red herrings come and go as quickly as Becca and Tony's underwear (the continuity editor should have been sacked along with the writers because of one scene BTW), and even though Pino Donaggio scores the music with customary swirling qualities, this just comes off as a piggyback tactic...

This is a poor thriller in spite of two very committed and visually attractive perfs from the leads - and of course Stanton's knowingly sleazy turn. Seek this out only if you think Body of Evidence is in the upper echelons of erotic thrillers. 5/10

Reviewed by lawfella 8 / 10

Terrific De Mornay

A more or less typical thriller made special by Rebecca De Mornay's awesome performance. She is the executive producer of this picture and must have badly wanted to do this role -- I'm glad she did.

She plays a psychiatrist evaluating whether an accused serial killer is competent to stand trial. It becomes obvious early on that she was drawn to psychiatry because of her own severe emotional problems and difficult past. In the meantime, we are shown troubling relationships with men appearing in her personal life. An upstairs neighbor badly wants her, but she wants only to be friends. Her father shows up out of the blue seeking affection and assistance, but she resists him, and it is obvious that their relationship and her childhood were deeply troubled. A stranger (Banderas) she meets in a store ardently pursues her, and they begin an affair, but she has difficulty trusting him, both because he is something of a suspicious character and because, as she tells him, she has difficulty trusting anybody. Their relationship becomes volatile and angry, tinged with violent overtones. Then there is the issue of her ex-fiancé, who vanished abruptly and without explanation just before the scheduled wedding.

As happens in these kinds of films, she is sent a series of mysterious messages and packages with no return addresses. Then violent things start to occur. Someone is clearly trying to terrorize her, but who? So many suspects -- Banderas? The upstairs neighbor (who is of course jealous of Banderas)? The serial killer, acting through friends outside of prison? Her father? The ex-fiancée? I did not anticipate the answer to this question, revealed of course at the film's end, but it was not an especially unusual conclusion for films of this kind. What made this picture worthwhile was De Mornay's utterly believable portrayal of, let us say, a difficult character, reminiscent of what she did in "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle". She is simply great at this kind of thing, besides being classically gorgeous.

The other acting is fine, but no one stands out. Banderas is always good, but in this one he is mostly eye candy for the ladies. Harry Dean Stanton as the serial killer is suitably menacing and crazed, but this picture is really all De Mornay. I found it a bit slow at times, but the last 20 minutes or so made up for the weak spots. Definitely worth watching.

Reviewed by MBunge 5 / 10

Like a racier Woman-In-Peril flick from Lifetime

This film is surprisingly not horrible. A product of the mid-1990s Rebecca De Mornay boomlet, it takes the woman-in-peril formula and jiggers with it just enough to come up with something worth watching…and not just for De Mornay's bosom.

Sarah Taylor (Rebecca De Mornay) is a psychologist who starts receiving threatening letters and packages, like someone is stalking her. But is her stalker Tony Ramirez (Antonio Banderas), the Puerto Rican charmer she's just fallen in love with? I s it Cliff Raddison (Dennis Miller), her upstairs neighbor who had a one-night stand with Sarah long ago and seems desperate for another encounter? Is it Max Chelski (Harry Dean Stanton), the serial killer she's analyzing in prison for his upcoming trial? Could it be her father Henry (Len Cariou), who's just re-entered her life and with whom Sarah has an obviously disturbing relationship? Or does her stalker have something to do with the fiancée who abandoned Sarah almost a year ago? The story keeps you wondering until revealing the truth, which turns out to be pretty decent for a twist ending.

Clocking in at under 90 minutes, Never Talk to Strangers is like a well made wading pool. There's no depth to it but it works as it's intended to. There's some sex, some mystery, a little humor from Dennis Miller and just a touch of violence. There's not a lot of chemistry between De Mornay and Antonio Banderas. However, they're both very pretty and the movie moves quickly enough that it never asks you to take their relationship too seriously. De Mornay, Banderas and the rest of the cast do reasonably good acting jobs and the film is adequately written and directed. Despite the ambition of the twist ending, there's not a lot here that will stick with you. For less than 90 minutes, though, it's a pleasant diversion.

The only thing that separates Never Talk To Strangers from the typical woman-in-peril movie you'd see on the Lifetime channel are a few F-words, Banderas' bare butt and De Mornay's naked breasts. So, if you're looking for a good, racier version of that sort of thing…you'll find it here.

The only truly interesting things about this film are the fact that De Mornay was one of the producers, demonstrating again the principle of Producer Self-Nudity, and that it's a product of the aforementioned De Mornay boomlet. It's one of the more intriguing Hollywood phenomena, where an actress who may have had some success as a starlet but never became a star, suddenly experiences a career resurgence in her 30s. These women usually get one attention-grabbing role and it's like the movie industry notices them again and decides to see if they can squeeze any more juice out of them. Sometimes these boomlets reinvigorate a career, like they did with Sharon Stone. Sometimes it just peters out, like it did with De Mornay. But whatever the reason for them, the 30something boomlet is probably the one thing that keeps a lot of actresses plugging away in movies long after they should have found other employment. I'm pretty sure the beautiful and talented Winona Ryder is wondering when her boomlet is going to come along.

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