Wild Things

The Boston Phoenix

DIRECTED BY: John McNaughton

REVIEWED: 03-23-98

There are more twists and turns in the steamy, hot-and-bothered Wild Things than even the lurid trailers prepare you for. High-school guidance counselor Sam Lombardo (Matt Dillon) has quite the student body to deal with in South Florida's upper-crust town of Blue Bay. Dope-smoking, wrong-side-of-the-swamper Suzie Toller (Neve Campell) and social-elite prom queen/porn star Kelly Van Ryan (Denise Richards) both cry rape and point the finger at Sam. And Detective Ray Duquette (Kevin Bacon, who also produced the movie) is on the case. But this is just the beginning of a sexy, darkly comedic suspense thriller that seems to be making fun of suspense thrillers. Jawdropping lines, cheesy threesomes, cat fights, a jungle-beat background, and a great sleazeball attorney for Sam (Bill Murray) make for an over-the-top story -- kind of Baywatch-meets-Heathers. Halfway through this quirky, self-mockingly clever roll in the hay, you'll have no idea who's going to screw who -- in any sense of the word.

--Rachel O'Malley

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