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Bruce Simmons is an idealistic but out-of-work writer who stubbornly ignores advice from his agents to make compromises with his work and write more commercially viable material, but he stubbornly refuses to compromise his artistic idealism.. His only source of income is a side job in real estate, but his lack of success there also makes it impossible to pay the rent, and he is evicted. His boss gives him one more chance: sell a decaying Hollywood mansion which was the scene of the horrible unsolved murder of a seemingly ideal family many years before. Although the house still is bloodstained, the bodies, including those of the two children have never been found. The now homeless Simmons determines to give his sexy literary agent and former lover the blood and guts she's been asking for and decides to write a novel about the killings. While he is researching material, a nervous stranger appears at his door and asks to rent a room. Seeing no harm in pocketing Eddie Hale's $350 monthly ...Written by
[opening lines quoting intertitle]
'To live, is to battle with fiends in the vaults of the heart and mind. To write: that is to sit in judgment over one's self'. Ibsen said that. He was right.
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Sure, it's slow on action, but what atmosphere! I really enjoyed this movie the first time around, when I wasn't really paying attention, so I watched it a couple more times on cable. This was the first movie where I had really seen Tom Sizemore and known who he was, and he was absolutely chilling. I thought the interplay between Sizemore's menacing character and McDermott's kind of confused, innocent character was a lot of fun. Poor Dylan. He had no idea what he was getting into when he let that guy into his house, did he? I think the Sharon Stone sequences looked kind of tacked on - not that she didn't brighten up the screen - and I agree with other comments that the plot could have been tightened up, but overall I find it a haunting, very entertaining movie that should have gotten a lot more attention than it did at the time of its release. It didn't show up on cable until several years later. I liked it so much I picked up a copy on eBay and would highly recommend it to anyone who likes creepy suspense films.
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