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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Comfort of Strangers (1990)



Reviews and Comments

It is genuinely difficult to make a film this bad on purpose. This is a so-called thriller where, literally, nothing happens. It wants to be Don't Look Now but only borrows the location and that film's weaknesses and leaves behind its flashes of brilliance.

An English couple is vacationing in Venice. They meet a sick, twisted couple while there who would have made anyone else flee for their lives on sight. But this wouldn't have made a very good movie, so when the demented couple invites the vacationing couple over for the night, they accept. The demented woman steals their clothes and watches them sleep. The demented man takes pictures of them from afar and belts the normal guy in the gut without explanation. This series of bizarre events causes the love between the vacationing couple to ignite anew. Ok, this doesn't sound like "literally" nothing, but except for the ridiculous conclusion, this is essentially all that occurs on screen. As for that ridiculous conclusion, it poses dozens of questions and answers none. Open-ended movies are one thing. Senseless ones that defiantly deny the audience even a taste of a resolution or an answer to even one of the questions are heaping mounds of putrescent scum.

This is as close as a film can be to being truly random. As the fundamental laws of thermodynamics teach, from randomness comes chaos, which is unintelligible, inscrutable, meaningless. The Comfort of Strangers unwaveringly adheres to this law.