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Diabolique

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Diabolique

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
R
runtime:
107 minutes
performer:
Kathy Bates, Isabelle Adjani, Chazz Palminteri, Sharon Stone
director:
Jeremiah S. Chechik
author:
Henri-Georges Clouzot
genre:
Mystery and Thriller

We gave it a C-

At movie ticket prices, this misbegotten remake of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s superior 1955 chiller delivered some pretty paltry pleasures. But the cost of a video rental is just about right for appreciating Stone’s campy-vamp performance. All dark red lips and retro jungle prints, the star looks amusingly out of place as a Catholic boys school’s math teacher — yes, math teacher — who conspires to murder her headmaster lover (Chazz Palminteri) with the help of his much-abused wife (Isabelle Adjani). The problem is that Sharon Stone’s characterization is at odds with the filmmakers’ muddled attempts at psychosexual depth. Slapping on lesbian overtones, religious symbolism, and Vertigo-style camera angles, Diabolique strives to be something special — then settles for a hit-’em-with-a-shovel finale. At least Stone had the sense to play this trash for what it is. C-