October 04, 1991 at 04:00 AM EDT

A Kiss Before Dying

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
94 minutes
performer
Matt Dillon, Sean Young, Rory Cochrane, Diane Ladd, Max von Sydow
director
James Dearden
distributor
Universal
author
James Dearden
genre
Mystery and Thriller
We gave it a D-

Renter beware: This adaptation of the Ira Levin novel, in which a rich woman (Sean Young) marries her twin sister’s murderer (Matt Dillon), is one shoddy piece of moviemaking. James Dearden, who wrote Fatal Attraction, is a klutzy director, and his dialogue for A Kiss Before Dying is leaden enough to sink mobsters into Lake Michigan. Ideally the viewer would need to feel fearful for Young, unwittingly in love with a psychopath who tries to cover up his deed with more murders, but she’s such an awful actress that it’s hard to drum up much sympathy. Wait for the taut and unsettling 1956 version starring Robert Wagner as the sweet-faced killer to show up on late-night television (it’s not available on videocassette). D-

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