Femme fatale Vera (Virginia Madsen) is not as bad as she's being perceived by a suffering young would-be artist, Babee Gordon (Thomas Newton), who's not as Innocent as he seems, in the classy-of-kind psychological thriller Lying in Wait (2000).
Babee got his terrible name from his late & evidently thoroughly egocentric mother, an actress whose television character had a poodle by the name Babee.
He has inherited her run-down mansion, & is getting to know his neighbors. There's a girl named El (Vanessa Dorman) who just might be the perfect cure for his lonely life, but over-reaching himself, he's more interested in a dynamic, sexy, though embattled couple who really spice up his humdrum existence.
After Vera gets peeved with her husband Keith (Rutger Hauer) & storms out of a party, they get in an automobile accident. This leaves Keith severely handicapped, in a semi-vegetative state. And Babee is hired as a caretaker, tying Keith into a wheelchair & trundling him about.
Because it's Rutger Hauer who couldn't possibly be cast in any film in which he's incapable of speech or action, we pretty much expect from the moment he's brain-damaged that Keith is not really as out of it as he seems.
Babee certainly believes he's faking it, as they have secret conversations no one else can hear. When people Keith perceived as enemies begin dying off one by one, the mystery is afoot.
The story takes odd turns away from the most hackneyed plotlines though the plot surprises are telegraphed too soon & too easily. I've tried not to reveal the key plot twists in case someone doesn't see it coming from a mile off.
Lying in Wait falls halfway between a conventional thriller & an arthouse film. As a low-budget straight-to-video feature it's no great shakes but it has an attractive cast. Madsen is sexy as they get in her role. Hauer's performance in such quick moments when his gaze switches from lackluster half-consciousness, to sharp knowing glance, is startling throughout.
Some of the story's shifts of character & perception that will annoy some viewers who wanted more action, & please others for the imbedded commentary on self-deception, illusion, & the nature of reality.
copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl