Pacific Heights

Pacific Heights

DVD - 1990
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Psychological thriller about two homeowners battling a pathological tenant. Protected by complex eviction laws, this sadistic schemer soon has the couple fighting to save their home and then their lives.
Publisher: Burbank, CA : Distributed by Warner Home Video, c1990
ISBN: 9780790747019
0790747014
Branch Call Number: DVD PAC
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (102 min.) :,sd., col. ;,4 3/4 in

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britprincess1ajax
May 09, 2016

An expertly crafted suspenseful thriller, PACIFIC HEIGHTS showcases not only a wonderfully original story but an equally stunning batch of performances from the talented Matthew Modine, Melanie Griffith, and Michael Keaton. A happy unmarried couple, Patty Parker and Drake Goodman, decide to buy a large house beyond their means with two rental units in addition to their home. They have a studio and a one-bedroom apartment; they find a nice couple to take the one and are looking for another tenant. That's when they meet Carter Hayes. Investing in themselves, in their future, becomes a devastating wild goose chase to either get the rent or evict him. Driving them further into debt and towards their wit's end, Patty and Drake endure a real-life nightmare. It is the subtle twists of this film that make it feel real, beyond its time and completely lacking in the formulaic tendencies of films that veer this way. Made in 1990, it spoke of the identity theft and fraud that buzzes in today's headlines, over twenty years after it was made. PACIFIC HEIGHTS is completely different than anything I've ever seen before, and I mean that in the best of ways. And again, it is beautifully real, which shocks me because villainy sometimes comes off as feigned. But not here. Michael Keaton has always been an expert at playing a mysterious individual and sometimes even a dastardly one, with his turns as the darkest Batman the world had ever seen (up to that point, of course) and the equally nefarious Betelgeuse from Tim Burton's whimsically spooky BEETLEJUICE. But here is where we see his pure evil. He is a master manipulator. He is the parasitic fear that lurks inside the house. Keaton is perfectly equipped for this role, the haunting Carter Hayes at the bottom of the stairs; I've yet to see BIRDMAN, but years before his Oscar nod, Keaton exhibited his strength in acting here. And it's not just Keaton. The same can be said for Modine, morphing from a gentle landlord to an enraged shadow of his former self as he fights foreclosure. Even Melanie Griffith -- no, especially, Melanie Griffith -- admittedly never one of my favourite actresses, always leaving me wondering how she became a star -- is a tour-de-force, a strong single woman adept at what she does, stressed but breathing, doing her level best to keep her house and her mind, and, when all is said and done, determined to never allow history to be repeated. She is admittedly afraid but powering through hell because, like it or not, that's what you do when you come face to face with it. And everything about her performance feels incredibly realistic, equal parts driven and terrified. And something is only scary when it feels like it could happen, when it feels real. What else can I say? You must see it for yourself. I highly recommend PACIFIC HEIGHTS.

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