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-- Video Business, 12/31/2002


Color, R (mature themes, language, violence, sexual situations, brief nudity), 102 min., VHS rental, DVD $29.99

DVD: no extras

Street: Feb. 11; Prebook: Jan. 14

First Run: L, 2002, <$1 mil.

Cast: Blair Underwood (Deep Impact), Michael Beach (Crazy as Hell), Debbi Morgan (Love & Basketball), Marva Hicks

Director: Tim Reid


Story Line: After his pregnant wife (Hicks) is killed in a bizarre accident on a Ferris wheel, Chance Williams (Underwood) intensifies his affair with Lauren (Morgan), the wife of his best friend, Michael (Beach), who isn't entirely without sin himself. But when Lauren learns she's pregnant, she wants only Michael, and that causes Chance to grow increasingly creepy--and violent.

Bottom Line: The bloody butcher knife doesn't show up until the last reel, and until then it's all at the level of a torrid daytime drama. But when the melodramatic pot boils over, Underwood's menace seems genuine and you begin to fear for anyone in the room. There are no surprises in any frame in this 1998 production as it's all been done before, even with an all-African American cast (2000's The Uninvited Guest beat it to release), but the excellent cast, as well as the successful suspense, is the best draw. Soap opera aside, undemanding thriller fans will be able to make it to the action near the end. --Buzz McClain


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