Poison (2000)

poison-2000The story in the film and the script is a hefty mess and bears some incredibly wide plot holes that ruin the efficacy of the film. For example, It’s never fully or clearly explained as to why Traci does the things she does to get her mother’s attention. There’s some insinuation that she resents her, or maybe she’s psychotic, but there’s no verification. Even in the end which is somewhat blurry, we’re never truly sure as to her motives with killing all the people during the movie. Her actions during the film perceive her character to be more spoiled than psychotic and threatening, so in the end it remains hazy. Also, the climax of the film seems so rushed and tacked on it begins to feel awkward on the closing credits.

The scene with the hot tub and the chase in the bridge and the fight feels so artificial it became difficult to even experience the atmosphere and tension attempted to such a great extent. Even in the beginning scenes which set up the story are increasingly hazy and also become questionable to Traci’s motives and character and pose a large plot hole. Why is Traci so attached to her teacher? Why does she kill her boyfriend on the boat and then move along during the rest of the film without any contact with her? Why is it we never hear from the teacher again until the end of the film? The situation is never resolved and leaves a gaping plot hole throughout the film. Also, there are these hilarious instances where we hear Traci’s theme song.

Yes, you read right, her character has a theme song, and it is so laughably similar to the character Jason Voorhees’ theme song from “Friday the 13th”, it became nearly impossible for me to hear it without breaking into a chuckle. Rosanna Arquette, a seasoned and very underrated character actress, tries her best with the messy material she’s given in the film and attempts to save the adequate performance from Schaffer. Jurgen Prochnow who I most remember from the awful “House of the Dead” is given little to do in the film and has a contrived sub-plot taken from “All about Eve” where he witnesses Traci’s little plans and attempts to foil her schemes throughout the film but can’t truly do anything about it except banter back and forth with her like rivals.

The rest of the supporting characters are your usual batch of disposables including the tepid love interest named Evan, and the hilariously ridiculous character Carmen played by the horrible Suzanne Coy who chews the scenery with her bit role as Traci’s maid who always conveniently seems to be at the right place at the right time when Traci is committing an act of deceit. Wow. Can any of these writers manage to muster up new original closers to these obsessed girl flicks and not invoke another interchangeable last hurrah? These types of films all seem to end at the edge of a cliff/river/ocean/bridge/tall house/balcony/building while the mother/father/son /brother/lover fights with the psychotic girl/guy/convict/young boy/young girl/evil babysitter who holds the victim at the edge fighting them and then falls off themselves by some weird coincidence. Mandy Schaffer is so much fun to look at, Rosanna Arquette does the best she can and looks good doing it, but I got what I was expecting: Nothing new or original.