Obsessed Steve Shill

Obsessed Steve Shill
At no point during the three DVD supplements on fashion, catfights and context is the subject of racial anxiety in this modern domestic thriller raised. They discuss Beyonce's need for earth tones, arranging fighting choreography in high heels and the ease of making a film when the president of a production company is the one pitching the idea. But they ignore the deliberate print marketing of black on white lettering, given the premise of a happily married black couple getting terrorized by a sunny, unstable, white cheerleader. It's a touchy subject for sure, but it's probably the most intelligent thing Obsessed has going for it, graduating the '90s suburban thriller from extramarital faux pas to a treatise on racial disharmony in a modern age where actual equality poses a threat to a seemingly implicit status quo. Without this, the film is essentially the sort of thing Joe Eszterhas would have written a decade ago in between cocaine binges, what with rich newlyweds (Idris Elba, Beyonce Knowles) imperilled by a crazed, horny sexpot (Ali Larter). Unlike the films of Mr. "Jade" Eszterhas, however, Obsessed curtails sexuality in favour of gender politics, expecting the audience to believe that our successful male protagonist would turn down advances from an eager and willing subordinate hottie. Plausibility aside, this psychological B-movie drama proves more amusingly trashy than Neil LaBute's Lakeview Terrace, and far more watchable and fun than the dreadful Halle Berry thriller A Perfect Stranger, which is at least something. Part of this comes from the film's main selling point, which is an ass kicking girl-fight between Beyonce and Ali Larter, where they punch, kick and throw each other across the room, offering up a satisfying climax to a frivolous movie. The other part is an overall competence in narrative structure, with a nice, glossy sheen to keep aesthetes appeased. Essentially, anyone looking for an inelegant, and somewhat sexist, diversion could do a lot worse. (Sony)