Thursday, June 13, 2013

V is for Voyeur

“You like to watch...don’t you?” This was the tagline for the 1993 thriller Sliver, based on the book by inventive horror maestro Ira Levin (The Boys from BrazilThe Stepford Wives). Set in a sleek Manhattan “sliver” condominium where some tenants move in but never move out (especially if they happen to be beautiful women), the film’s pervasive theme of voyeurism and visual stimulation is taken to the extreme; each apartment is fully wired so a mysterious Big Brother figure can watch the residents’ every move. 

Sharon Stone is a successful book editor who specializes in tabloid-type tell-alls to feed a public hungry for celebrity secrets. When she moves into her new digs, recently vacated by a similarly gorgeous blond who jumped off the balcony, she has the distinct feeling she’s being watched. (But it kind of turns her on.)  

Stone is pursued romantically by two handsome men, Tom Berenger, an author of violent crime novels, and William Baldwin, a young rich-kid computer whiz. One of them may be a killer. She beds down with Baldwin in a series of ultra-hot carnal encounters, but then gets more than she bargained for. Enough said—the mystery thriller’s plot is well-crafted but entirely secondary to  the heat generated by these appealing actors at the height of their attractiveness. 

A comeback film for producer Robert Evans, who had orchestrated Paramount’s megahit of Levin’sRosemary’s Baby in 1968, Sliver didn’t sizzle at the box office or appear on anyone’s list of best films of 1993. Viewed today, however, in its extended director’s cut DVD version, Sliver is a stylish and diverting thriller featuring beautiful people in various stages of undress. And if you like to probably will.


J.D. Lafrance said...

I found that the sex scenes in SLIVER aren’t all that erotic with ill-fitting music playing over the action. Stone, as always, looks great but her romantic scenes with Baldwin lack any kind of passion or sensuality. The film doesn’t flow naturally, plodding gamely along. The dialogue is flat and clunky – something you expect from a film school novice but it is easy to make that mistake with Eszterhas, the king of cheesy thrillers (see JADE).

For me, SLIVER is an A-list movie with B-film content. It has all the ingredients but they just don’t gel.

angelman66 said...

Agreed about the lack of chemistry between Stone and Baldwin - I learned later that they did NOT get along while filming this.

I do like this more than you do, though, it has a stylish feel and I enjoyed the Ira Levin book on which it was based. But it is definitely more of a B-movie, true!

I will check out Jade!