4 September 2005 | rsoonsa
High Production Quality, But A Want Of Originality Is Evident.
In this Canadian produced film released in the United States as STALKER, (C. Thomas Howell) plays as Mack Maddox who faces payment of dues for a one-night stand with health club instructor Justine when, after she is murdered and Mack is chosen as a juror for the case of the slain woman, his entire existence becomes greatly complicated, with his marriage, vocation as an advertising executive, and eventually the safekeeping of his family all being in jeopardy. When the jurors are shown crime scene photographs of the homicide victim by the prosecuting attorney, Mack recognizes her as his short-term paramour, and after the suspect, the murdered woman's husband Ezra, performed by Jay Underwood, is released because of a mistrial, he begins to believe that Mack was in fact his deceased wife's lover, and stalks Mack, his wife Laura and his daughter as well, apparently with an objective of killing all of them as retribution for Mack's brief lapse into sin with Justine. The story is bewhiskered and laden with numerous flaws of logic, but in spite of this lack of originality, production characteristics are of high quality, in particular effectively moody scoring by Normand Corbeil, telling compositions from cinematographer Georges Archambault, top-flight production design contributed by Paola Ridolfi, and the crisp editing of Arthur Tarnowski, all under able direction from Marc Grenier. Although Howell stiffly overacts throughout, Maxim Roy as Laura is a standout for her splendidly natural turn. Grenier's pacing control is strongly evident from the outset, while the final scene is one of the work's best due to a spare use of dialogue; with a less hackneyed storyline, this film would have been more noteworthy.