‘WILD THINGS’ 20 Years Later (Flashback Review)

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This week marks the anniversary for one of the most notorious film flashes the 1990’s ever bore witness to. No, I’m not talking about when the RMS Titanic hit an iceberg in the Atlantic. Or the “funny like a clown” sequence from Goodfellas. In fact, you may even think I’m referencing Hannibal Lecter discussing his fondness for human livers with fava beans and Chianti. Well, if so, you’d be wrong once more.

I, OBVIOUSLY, am speaking about the spontaneously gaudy three-way sex scene between Matt Dillon, Neve Campbell, and Denise Richards from 1998’s cunning erotic-thriller Wild Things. Yep. That happened exactly 20 years ago today.

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Fuck, I feel old.

Anyway, here is my mundane flashback review… As if we were still living in the days of Snap-on bracelets and Seinfeld – Not Mumble Rap and Fortnite.

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John MacNaughton’s slick and dazzling thriller is one of the sexiest movies you’ll ever see come out of Hollywood. With as many twists and turns as ripples in the ocean, the film becomes a guessing game of who’s alive and who’s dead. Who’s involved, and who’s going to be the winner, with new endings popping up one after the other.

The settings are picturesque, the cast daring, alluring, young and restless, the action vehement. While appearances may be glossy and glam, there’s an aura of filth that prowls just beneath the surface, revealing itself like a stench on a windy day. The characters are varied and vibrant and there’s something more to everyone than meets the eye.

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The casting, is indeed, rock solid (hey nowww) with Matt Dillon charming as the guidance counselor whose bedroom shenanigans place him on Blue Bay’s most desired list. The girls are sassy and compelling, while Kevin Bacon also engages. Both Denise Richards (provocative, seductive) and Neve Campbell (intricate, vulnerable) are sensuous and immensely enthralling.

Pleasant surprises take place throughout as well. One being Bill Murray, as the scene stealing, deviant attorney whose sense of ethics is conveyed with panache, and class in the form of Theresa Russell, Carrie Snodgress and Robert Wagner.

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A true thriller that delivers top-notch production value and proficient direction – The fucking soundtrack is even stunning with its subliminally eerie music coinciding with an underlay of suspense. Here, there isn’t much difference between the characters and the crocodiles in the swamp, who know just how far to taunt their prey.

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And just when you think you’ve seen all the shades, textures and colors, there’s still surprises to be had. Wild Things is a lusty, steamy conundrum that sails on a ship of ambiguity, deception, appetite, greed, fervor and ego. It’s very title is a euphemism for all that transpires.

4/5 STARS

By Brandon Colón
bcolon324@gmail.com

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