Alan Shapiro

7.0 The Crush (1993) Links:

Alan Shapiro (USA, 1957) directed the thriller The Crush (1993) is almost a perfect thriller. Unfortunately a lame and implausible quasi-ending turns it into a stereotypical Hollywood-ian "feel good" movie. Luckily the very last scene redeems it and makes it more interesting. Nick is a young and handsome writer who is hired at a magazine and moves into the guesthouse of a wealthy family. While he is fixing up the guesthouse, he is visited by the 14-year-old daughter of the homeowners, Adrian. Nick's boss at the magazine is a grumpy man who assigns him a mission-impossible job: to find out the truth about a famous emblezzlement case that the police couldn't crack. His partner is an attractive photographer, Amy. At home, Nick takes care of his vintage car. Adrian makes no mystery to her best friend Cheyenne that she's attracted to Nick, although Nick is ten years older. Adrian visits Nick in the evening and talks to him in a sensual manner. At work Nick realizes that someone has rewritten his article, and the boss loves the final product. Nick is puzzled. It turns out that Adrian is a child prodigy: she plays the piano like a professional, writes perfect English and knows a lot about science. Adrian's parents throw a party. Adrian convinces Nick to take her for a ride in his car and Adrian takes him to a romantic lighthouse where she kisses him. Nick feels embarrassed and drives her home. Another time Amy comes to visit Nick and Nick introduces her to Adrian: Adrian is clearly upset. Meanwhile, Nick is making progress on his case: the criminal accepts to be interviewed by him, an exclusive interview. Amy quickly realizes that Adrian has a crush on Nick. One day Adrian scares Amy near a beehive, warning her how dangerous they can be. Amy feels that Adrian is creepy. Adrian keeps teasing Nick, who is concentrating on writing his articles. Finally, Nick tries to confront Adrian. He walks into her room. She's not there but Nick finds evidence that she has a crush on him. Then suddenly she shows up and Nick, embarrassed, hides in her closet. He can see her undress. She hears a noise and guesses that he's there and staring at her, and then she undresses completely naked and turns towards the closet so that he can see. Nick is sweating. He tries to confront her again but she smiles as if she's convinced that he secretly loves her. He tells her that they can only be friends. The following day he finds a big scratch on his vintage car. This time he decides to talk to Adrian's parents, but they don't believe him. The one who knows everything is Cheyenne. She tries to talk to Nick but Adrian finds out and causes a horseriding accident that leaves Cheyenne with a broken arm. The following day at work Nick is supposed to deliver the important interview, but the magnetic disk is empty. He rushes home and realizes that someone has deleted all his files. Adrian has left behind a clue. Nick follows it and discovers a cellar that she has turned into a shrine to him. Nick decides to move out and finds another place, but he cannot move right away. He has sex with Amy. Adrian sees them. She meets Amy with a homicidal look in her eyes. The following day Adrian locks Amy inside her photo darkroom and unleashes bees into the aeration vent. Amy almost gets killed. Adrian shows up smiling in Nick's room as if nothing happened. Adrian is then hurt when Nick doesn't show up at an important horseriding context where she is competing. Nick is at a company party. Adrian breaks into the company party and slaps him in front of everybody, and then pretends that she's assaulting him. Nick trie to move in immediately into the new room but Adrian has told the new landlady that he is a drug dealer and the landlady cancels their deal. When he gets home, Nick finds the police who arrest him. Adrian has faked a rape, even inserting Nick's sperm (collected from a condom) into her vagina. The magazine bails him out but nobody believes him. The only one who knows the truth is Cheyenne. She tells Nick that Adrian used to have a crush on another man and that man died of poisoning. Cheyenne has no doubt that Adrian killed him. Cheyenne knows that Adrian keeps a diary and is determined to find it. Cheyenne breaks into the house to search Cheyenne's room. Nick follows her, afraid that she's in trouble. Sure enough Adrian is there, despite the fact that she's supposed to be in a safe location with her parents. Adrian is completely out of her mind. Since Adrian is only interested in finding out what Adrian has done to Cheyenne, Adrian attacks him and throws him down the stairs. Nick, despite being injured, keeps searching and finds Cheyenne bound and gagged in the attic. As he tries to free her, Adrian attacks him. As he tries to get rid of Adrian, her father arrives and thinks that Nick is the one attacking Adrian.
So far Adrian has been a perfect schemer but here she makes a fatal mistake: she attacks her father to save Nick. Nick doesn't miss the chance to knock Adrian unconscious and to free Cheyenne (who can now be the key witness to exonerate him). Adrian is interned in a psychiatric hospital: she's still writing letters to Nick, who now lives happily with Amy. The film ends with Adrian being locked in her cell and we see that she's staring at a picture of her doctor... her new crush?

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