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Erika Christensen, Jesse Bradford, Shiri Appleby, Dan Hedaya, Clayne Crawford

Directed by: John Polson
Written by: Philip Schneider, Charles Bohl, Phil Schneider, Charlie Bohl
Produced by: Joseph M. Caracciolo Jr., Allison Lyon Segan, John Penotti, Joseph Caracciolo
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox

US: 06/09/02 UK:20/09/02

Dawson's Fatal Attraction via Cruel Intentions type fare about Ben Cronin...the high school senior who with everything going for him. Then Madison, the alluring new girl in town, develops a crush on Ben, although she says she just wants to be friends. As Madison's obsession with Ben grows, his life begins to unravel. Ben suspects that Madison is behind all of it. With no one on his side, Ben dives into investigating her past and finds some incredibly dark secrets. Convinced that Madison will do anything to ruin his life as well as the lives of those around him, Ben decides to set the record straight.

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Erika Christensen pulls a few evil strokes in Swimfan

Call this film Fatal Attraction in High School and you pretty much know everything about it. While there's an attractive cast and a certain amount of creepy tension, it's a by-the-books drama about a psychotic obsession. Ben (Bradford) is the star swimmer in school, with a great girlfriend (Appleby), a loyal best friend (Crawford) and a bright future. Then a new girl, Madison (Christensen), arrives on campus and Ben can't keep himself from going after her. He knows he's made a terrible mistake, but he doesn't realize he's playing with fire. As Ben tries to extricate himself from the mess, he only makes Madison more and more angry. And she will not be ignored!

While the film is quite well-made by Australian actor-director Polson, and the young cast is very good, there is nothing remotely original about this film. Right from the beginning we can tell exactly where it's headed--all we have to do is run down the thriller checklist. We can spot the references that will come back later with new and "amazing" significance. We know the fates of every character. We know exactly when things will twist and get even more grisly. And all of this is frustrating, because there's potential here for a terrific little thriller. But aside from the casting and a bit of cinematic style, there's nothing fresh or original at all. If only the filmmakers had resisted the urge to go down the well-worn Hollywood thriller path.



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