Fatal Attraction meets a younger audience in Swimfan, a teen thriller that is surprisingly exciting and smart, for the most part.
Bring it On's Jesse Bradford stars as a high school swimmer who has a good chance of becoming an Olympian, except for when he makes the big mistake of cheating on his girlfriend (Shiri Appleby) with the new girl in town (Traffic's Erika Christensen), his life goes to hell. She becomes a little too attached to him, attached enough to be willing to defend their relationship at all costs, including killing people and doing other little nasty things.
I really wasn't expecting much out of this film. It's a September release, it's a teen thriller, and - well, that says it all. But Swimfan was pretty good. It's entertaining, has pretty good acting, and a creepy seductress, everything you need for a Fatal Attraction-esque thriller.
The movie really draws you in; obviously, you know Bradford is going to make the big mistake of having sex with this girl, but as time goes on the film is careful in adding little elements and taking a few turns. Sure, some of the things that happen are pretty predictable (perhaps because they were shown in the trailer, which gave away just about the whole movie), but Swimfan does a good job of covering that up.
I only had two problems with the movie, and both are pretty minor. First, it is my opinion that Shiri Appleby is more attraction than Erika Christensen. Both are beautiful girls, and Christensen does a terrific job as a psycho (so she has drug addict whore and psycho on her résumé now), but in the role of a girl that guys are going gaga over, enough so that Bradford is willing to cheat on his girlfriend that is not exactly denying him sex in the first place... that I don't see.
The other problem is the ending. The believability factor goes down once she is captured initially, and everything ends so abruptly. Swimfan could have had a much better ending that stayed away from cliché (just because of its title, does it have to end in a swimming pool?), and judging from the rest of the movie, the screenwriter seems to know how to write some intriguing material. Somehow I am guessing that the studio opted for a nice, simple ending, instead of something that would make us scratch our heads even just slightly.
Swimfan, up until the end, is really good. It's not Fatal Attraction, but it's a good entry for a younger generation.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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