By Michael Sauter
Updated March 22, 1991 at 05:00 AM EST

John Schlesinger’s latest film is a slick little thriller that’s far more powerful in the home environment than it was in the movie theater. Preying on our invasion-of-privacy fears, Pacific Heights literally hits us where we live.

In his first role since Batman, Michael Keaton stars as a mystery tenant who turns Melanie Griffith and Matthew Modine’s dream house into a nightmare. He brings in creepy friends. He lets loose huge cockroaches. He lurks silently in the shadows. He doesn’t pay his rent! Keaton, you see, is not only a scam artist, he’s a psycho. As his mind games grow more malevolent, the tension steadily mounts — that is, until Schlesinger shatters the mood, taking Keaton out of the house and turning the tables on him. Pacific Heights does go home again for a frightening finish. But it would have been scarier if it had never left the house.

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