Her Infidelity (2015 TVM)

Canada / 88 minutes / color / Johnson Production Group, Drie Productions, Lifetime Dir: Christie Will Pr: Oliver De Caigny Scr: Christie Will, Alan Donahue Cine: Anthony Metchie Cast: Rachel Hunter, Clayton Chitty, Miranda Frigon, Carter Evancic, Chelan Simmons, Lane Edwards, Loretta Walsh, Christina Jastrzembska, Barbara Wallace, Beverley Elliott, Daniella Evangelista, Bailey Skodje.

An odd offering, this has all the feel of a direct-to-video erotic thriller but lacks the nudity and raunch—hardly surprising in that it was first shown as a Lifetime movie. (My copy had a “fucking” beeped out, although the censors missed a later sigh of “Fuck!”) But almost all of the rest of the attributes are there, from the occasionally amateurish screenplay to the sometimes dodgy acting and the overall sense that this is a production upon which no great wads of money were spent.

And yet I found Her Infidelity oddly appealing, with moments of interest in the mix. This may be a pretty mediocre movie with a plot that doesn’t bear too much analysis, but it’s not entirely witless.

Rachel Hunter as Lily

Lily Helms (Hunter) is convinced husband Peter (Edwards), who has to travel a lot on business, is having an affair with the assistant, Jane Hill (uncredited), who’s Continue reading

The Spiral Staircase (2000 TVM)

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Not so much a remake, more a sorry porridge!
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Canada, US / 88 minutes / color / Shavick, Saban International Dir: James Head Pr: Shawn Williamson Scr: Matt Dorff Story: Some Must Watch (1933) by Ethel Lina White and (uncredited) The Circular Staircase (1908) by Mary Roberts Rinehart, plus screenplay by Mel Dinelli, Helen Hayes and Robert Siodmak for The SPIRAL STAIRCASE (1945) Cine: Gordon Verheul Cast: Nicollette Sheridan, Judd Nelson, Alex McArthur, Debbe Dunning, Christina Jastrzembska, Dolores Drake, David Storch, William McDonald, Holland Taylor, John Innes, Brenda Campbell, Candice McClure (i.e., Kandyse McClure), Dallas Thompson, Charles Payne, Kristina Matisic.

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Although this movie claims in its opening credits to be a remake of Robert Siodmak’s classic period noir The SPIRAL STAIRCASE (1945), just about everything that distinguished the original movie from a run-of-the-mill murder mystery has been excised.

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Despite all the plot-changes, this remake is ready to offer the occasional visual quote from Siodmak’s original.

Perhaps most importantly, the killer’s motivation has been altered. In the original, the killer has a psychotic detestation of disabilities in women; this puts our heroine, who’s a traumatic mute, in severe danger of being his next victim. Here the motive’s just the humdrum one of financial gain—there’s an inheritance up for grabs—and, when this motive is suddenly produced in the final minutes, it makes no sense, because we’ve been told the killer has been murdering and assaulting pretty young women at random for some while. Furthermore, the muteness of the central character has no real impact on the plot—in fact (and this is actually quite cleverly done), we’re a good few minutes into the movie before we realize she’s mute at all.

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Helen (Nicollette Sheridan) hears a strange noise outside her bedroom.

Here’s the plot in short:

There’s a prologue in which a young girl (not properly identified in the credits) is walking home at night in Westport, Washington State, when she encounters Continue reading