March 2, 1992 -- ``The Hand That Rocks The Cradle'' is a remarkably successful thriller that has been racking up about $5 million a week in ticket sales since opening in January and it is finally here.
The film starts out very deliberately and there are virtually no surprises as the plot plods slowly and predictably along. After the first few minutes you know exactly what is going to happen at the end of the film. The plot concerns a woman's (Rebecca DeMornay) plans for revenge against another woman (Annabella Sciorra) whom she blames for the death of her husband and child.
All of the woman's plots work out nearly perfectly and she is poised to take over the family and take the place of the woman she hates when at last something goes wrong with her plan.
That's when the film starts to get interesting. There are some genuine shocks near the end of the film. When I went to see it here I heard some screaming from some women in the audience at this point of the film. The movie also has some humorous moments.
The director, Curtis Hanson, does a good job setting up the killer-in-the-creepy-dark-house sequence near the end of the film. There are a few surprises and some clever misdirection, but it does take a long time to get there.
This movie is pure schlock, but it does have its moments. The acting is passable with a couple of good performances, one by Ernie Hudson, who was one of the Ghostbusters in those two popular films. The handyman part was originally written for a white actor, but Hudson was able to successfully campaign for the part. His performance is a bright spot in the film. I hope he is able to get more good roles in the future. He has not gotten much work during the past few years.
This film rates a C.
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