22 October 2006 | moonspinner55
Popcorn thriller is suspenseful and ridiculous, often at the same time!
Single mom in southern California is repeatedly attacked by a violent sexual predator--one who is a poltergeist. Frank DeFelitta adapted his own bestseller, allegedly based on a true account, which has pedantic medical diagnoses in the first-half and monster-movie overtones in the second. Barbara Hershey, lovely and freshly-scrubbed like an elfin flower-child, takes on the difficult leading role with casual detachment; her delicacy is welcomed actually, as a role (and a movie) such as this can really go overboard without much effort. The script is a big handicap because the dialogue isn't as smart as the characters or the actors, and when Hershey is asked at key moments to describe her circumstances, she suddenly starts babbling like maybe she really does need a team of doctors. The effects are iffy, too (particularly in one sequence involving a nude body, which doesn't quite convince). However, the intensity of the situation and Sidney J. Furie's tricky direction provide both suspense and morbid amusement, and the film's bombastic finale is tolerable only because the plot really had no place else to go. **1/2 from ****