No one likes to hear a lecture but before we begin this blog we need a vocabulary lesson to understand this review better.
Today's word, boys and girls, is Doppelganger
Doppelganger (noun) : A paranormal double of a living person, typically representing evil or misfortune.
Now that we got that out of the way, we can focus now on the movie Doppelganger. In 1993, Drew Barrymore was a brunette to portray Long Island Lolita Amy Fisher and she kept the color when she starred in this psychological-supernatural thriller. This movie was not child star Drew or bubbly funny Drew or even wild girl Drew but serious Poison Ivy Drew at her best...and weirdest.
What's The Plot?
Holly Gooding (Drew Barrymore) moves from New York to Los Angeles after the murder of her mother so she can visit her brother Fred in the hospital. She moves in with struggling writer Patrick Highsmith (George Newbern) who thinks he's got the perfect little hot roommate but living with Holly is anything but perfect. Her moods shift from shy and helpful to bitchy and psycho at the drop of a hat and soon Patrick learns things about Holly he probably didn't want to know.
Holly's father was killed by her brother Fred who is in a mental hospital and Holly is the prime suspect in her mother's very violent murder but she claims that her doppelganger did the crime just as her brother's own doppelganger killed her father...supposedly. Patrick begins to have his doubts about Holly's story but soon not only has he fallen in love with Holly...but he's seen her doppelganger as well. Holly's doctor from New York, Doctor Heller (Dennis Christopher) comes to take Holly home when her brother Fred is almost killed by Holly's "doppelganger" and informs Patrick that Holly is just a young woman with a multiple personality disorder who needs help but Holly is determined to prove that the doppelganger is real and out to kill her.
Is there really an evil within Holly or a ghostly double out to end her life? Can Patrick help her find the truth or will he be the next victim ?
This film is just one of the many in my Drew Barrymore collection (as I am a huge Drew Barrymore fan) and it is not bad but it isn't Oscar caliber either. The special effects and the lighting of the film are garish at best and I can see the movie as just another way to show off that Drew Barrymore is attractive as she has a shower scene to show of her "talent". Being 18 when this movie was filmed, Drew was trying to leave behind the child star image and her role as Holly Gooding came after Poison Ivy and starring as Amy Fisher as a way to break that mold and boy did it!
I don't think any acting flaws in this movie are the actors' fault as the script seems to be at best the writer trying to make Breakfast At Tiffany's into a horror B-film. George Newbern is meant to be the naive, completely clueless character that he is portraying (he's a good actor...he's the voice of Superman for crying out loud!) and Dennis Christopher is a great character actor in everything he does (he's Eddie Kaspbrak from Stephen King's IT for Pete's sake!). To me the adage goes:
There are no bad actors just bad script writing.
The premise of an evil twin is a tricky idea to work with but if the writing and direction are done right then you can have a truly scary, mind-boggling film that has your mind coming to its own conclusions. Parts of the movie work (mostly that I love the actors if not their characters) and others don't but I wouldn't say that Doppelganger is as bad as people say it is. The ending by the way won't clear up any questions you may have so you will just have to see Doppelganger to get your own answers.
Next Blog: The Fury