Saturday, March 20, 2010

On-Demand: Rupert Glasson's Aussie thriller COFFIN ROCK

What hath Fatal Attraction spawned? You know the answer -- all 10,000 of them, including last year's risible but not-quite-good-enough-for-camp-status Obsessed. The latest variation on a theme comes from Australia and is titled COFFIN ROCK.

Written and directed by Rupert Glasson (shown at right), it's a fair enough rendition of the basic tune, hitting all the right notes and winding up a relatively slick, fast-paced thriller. With nary a surprise in all of its nearly ninety minutes. The time passes; you guess what's coming before it occurs; then it's over.

Unlike the two films mentioned above, Glasson's opus centers on a woman, well-wrought by Lisa Chappell (above), who, due to pregnancy problems, semi-strays. (Does it count if she says "no" after he's already inside her?)  Her man is essayed well by big bruiser Robert Taylor (below, left), and the stalker is brought odd life by actor Sam Parsonson (below, right), who manages a combination of straight-on nastiness and flighty innocence that has some of the townsfolk calling him a "girly boy." Don't worry: They'll pay for that.

The locations are choice, the cinematography smart and the performances alert and real. Only the story proves tiresome, even at less than a 90-minute running time. We've seen it before and better, though if you've watched many less movies than I, you might find this one more original.

Coffin Rock is available via IFC Films from its Festival Direct On-Demand program. Check your local TV reception provided for details or click here to learn if you're within range.

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