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JOHN SCHLESIGNER'S GLOSSY YUPPIE HORROR 'PACIFIC HEIGHTS'

PACIFIC HEIGHTS Year: 1990 Rates: **1/2

One of those Premise Thrillers: This one about a renter renting from a young couple who bought a San Fransisco townhouse and has rights that don't make sense, but are still insanely legal... 

Matthew Modine and Melanie Griffith look like yuppies but aren't because they have little money... so that's both their sympathy and motivation to desperately need payment that Michael Keaton's shyster is holding back, and back and back... 

Meanwhile he's a squatter from hell who plagues the place with roaches, hammering noises and endless mind games in an annoying neo-horror that's intentionally so since the villain's  purpose is to drive the protagonists and the audience crazy...

But there's not enough mix and match, and Michael Keaton has very little to do but sit around in dark brooding shadows looking sinister (under director John Schlesinger's modern Noir aesthetic). A shame since we know how hyperactive-charming Keaton can be. Imagine some black comedy injected throughout. After all, is this young-couple-harasser within a refurbished old home any different than Beetlejuice? Well yes, he is... because it's simply no fun hating him, and should be. Thankfully, Melanie Griffith, the stronger of the two victimized landlords, unleashes an intriguing 11th hour payback.


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