Dead Calm (1989)
This movie highlights basically what I was talking about in my last review - when you're trapped on a train with a psychopathic killer, you can just get off the fucking train. When you're trapped on a boat with a psychopathic killer, there's not much you can do...
The plot is fairly generic. A couple (Sam Neill and Nicole Kidman), who just lost their young son in a car accident, decide to go on a relaxing sea voyage to take their minds off of it or whatever. They pick up this guy (Billy Zane) in the middle of the ocean who – surprise! – turns out to be a crazy ass mofo.
The movie is a fairly standard thriller, predictable and occasionally bordering on sleazy. However, the performances from the three leads, particularly Billy Zane (who I’ve only ever seen before in BloodRayne (best movie ever) and Titanic, and in both movies he sucked) are really good and the film is fairly well plotted.
It also gets away with having very little dialogue throughout. There is no unnecessary banter between Sam Neill and Nicole Kidman. There are I think about twelve lines of dialogue in the whole movie.
And there really is something to be said for having ‘name’ stars in the movie. They weren’t exactly big name stars at the time, and they’re not exactly big name stars now (except, I guess, Nicole Kidman). Well, I guess Sam Neill was in, like, Event Horizon and In the Mouth of Madness and, um, Jurassic Park and he played Damien in Omen 3. Jeez, no wonder he creeps me out...
Actually, the really weird thing is that even though she’s there between Billy Zane and Sam Neill who are both runners up for creepiest human being on the planet, Nicole Kidman manages to be WAY fucking creepier than either one of them. She looks about six years old for one thing and she’s so frigging pale... ew...
Although at least both she and Sam have their Aussie accents intact in this movie. Yes, Australian accents are the third ugliest sounding accent in the world (right after Kiwi and Canadian accents), but it’s nice to hear these people not playing fucking Americans for once.
Yeah, so this movie isn’t exactly the greatest thing ever committed to film, but it’s a very well done thriller and has one or two creepy moments.
Directed by: Phillip Noyce. Written by: Terry Hayes based on the novel by Charles Williams. Starring: Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill, Billy Zane.
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