Film review: Whispers in the Dark

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 11 1992 12:00 a.m. MDT

"WHISPERS IN THE DARK" is strictly from Stupidsville.

Annabella Sciorra (the wife/mother in "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle") stars as a Fifth Avenue psychiatrist, of course, who has more problems than her patients. Not nearly as many as this film, however. Plot holes, unanswered questions and red herrings litter the way until the final reel, when the killer is finally unveiled and the film completely and laughably self-destructs.

The focus is on Sciorra's relationships with an old boyfriend (Anthony Heald); a new boyfriend (Jamey Sheridan); her mentor and his wife, both prominent psychiatrists (Alan Alda, Jill Clayburgh); a rude, crude cop (Anthony LaPaglia) and two patients, an ex-con (John Leguizamo) who has mutilated women but has artistic talent and a woman (Deborah Unger) who vividly describes her kinky sexual adventures.

For some reason the latter has gotten to her and Sciorra begins dreaming nightly about violent sexual images of bondage and abuse.

When a murder occurs, everyone in her sphere becomes involved and the plotting gets convoluted and more than a little dumb. In fact, much of the tension attempted here hangs on Sciorra doing things that make no sense whatsoever — from not having a receptionist or locking up her files to falling hopelessly in love after a one-night stand.

It's hard to describe more without giving too much away but suffice it to say that to solve the mystery the moviegoer would do better to look at the casting and credits than any clues in the story.

Christopher Crowe, a screenwriter ("Nightmares," "Off Limits," the upcoming "Last of the Mohicans") making his directing debut here, is a proficient technician, but his script is the pits. The sleazy sex and profane dialogue seem to exist solely for exploitation purposes. In fact, Crowe pushes the limits of graphic, kinky, violent sex about as far as any R-rated film this side of "Basic Instinct."

The cast is appealing but they are certainly slumming here. For Alda, in particular, this is a career nadir.

"Whispers in the Dark" is rated R for a lot of sex, nudity and violence, with profanity and vulgarity as well.

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS