A made-for-cable-TV feature released to home video, THE DISAPPEARANCE OF CHRISTINA is a frustrating suspense drama, mostly formula until a surprise conclusion that's only a surprise because there's no surprise.
The absent Christina (Claire Yarlette), heiress wife of businessman Joe Seldon (John Stamos), vanished during a sailboat cruise in the company of Joe and partner Michael Kroft (Robert Carradine), as well as Michael's wife Lily (Kim Delaney). No-nonsense police detective Nora Davis (CCH Pounder)
believes Joe murdered Christina because she was secretly planning to divorce him. Joe claims that Christina's not dead; mysterious phone calls and the ravings of her asylum-bound sister, Madeleine (Joan Hotchkis), suggest that the missing woman is alive and conspiring to frame her husband. All the
while Lily seems exceptionally eager to help Joe out, and it's easy to guess she's a FATAL ATTRACTION type, who sacrifices her own treacherous husband to get Joe all to herself. Det. Davis shows up in the nick of time, but a dying Lily declares that she had nothing to do with Christina's
disappearance. So what did happen to her? Nobody knows.
Director Karen Arthur (LADY BEWARE, THE MAFU CAGE) is a specialist in opaque psychological thrillers; but hey, even a rat in a maze gets a bit of cheese in the end, right? In a genre critically reliant on denouement, Arthur's refusal to solve the narrative puzzle might be seen as bold, but it's
probably an arty cop-out. Either way, CHRISTINA leaves the viewer with little to hold onto, apart from vague suggestions that Joe is guilty after all, and the rare sight of Robert Carradine outside of a REVENGE OF THE NERDS sequel. (Adult situations, sexual situations, substance abuse.)
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- Released: 1994
- Rating: NR
- Review: A made-for-cable-TV feature released to home video, THE DISAPPEARANCE OF CHRISTINA is a frustrating suspense drama, mostly formula until a surprise conclusion that's only a surprise because there's no surprise. The absent Christina (Claire Yarlette), he… (more)