One of the certified critical and commercial disasters of 1993, SLIVER is a nonsensical "thriller" that presents people you don't care about doing things you don't want to know about in a high-rise, high-tech Manhattan apartment building. Stylish yuppie Carly Norris (Sharon Stone) takes an apartment in a "sliver" building (so called for being built on a...read more
One of the certified critical and commercial disasters of 1993, SLIVER is a nonsensical "thriller" that presents people you don't care about doing things you don't want to know about in a high-rise, high-tech Manhattan apartment building. Stylish yuppie Carly Norris (Sharon Stone) takes an
apartment in a "sliver" building (so called for being built on a narrow piece of property). She soon learns that the building has been dubbed the "Horror High Rise" as a result of several grisly deaths that occurred there.
No sooner does Carly strike up a friendship with neighbor Gus Hale (Keene Curtis), who promises to tell her more about the deaths, than Gus becomes yet another victim. Carly then meets neighbors Zeke Hawkins (William Baldwin) and macho pulp novelist Jack Lansford (Tom Berenger). A gym workout
date with Zeke leads to a steamy sexual encounter, after which Lansford tries to warn Carly about the younger man. He's discovered that Zeke is actually the owner of the building, and suspects he may have been responsible for the murders. Later, Zeke reveals that he not only owns the building, but
has wired it with surveillance cameras and microphones, and spends most of his time spying on his tenants from a high-tech control room. After another neighbor is murdered and Carly sees Jack at the scene, Jack is questioned by the police and afterwards shows up in Carly's apartment. Seeing the
scene on one of his monitors, Zeke intervenes and, after a fatal struggle, the mystery is solved.
SLIVER is a hamfisted, if expensive, adaptation of Ira Levin's best-selling novel, with a screenplay credited to Joe Eszterhas (but much rewritten) and a budget rumored to be as high as $50 million. Nevertheless, the movie is little more than a lushly mounted attempt to exploit the legacy of
Stone's kinky, star-making performance in BASIC INSTINCT. After the predictable, publicist-fueled "controversy" about whether the film would be stigmatized with an NC-17 rating, it was finally awarded an R, though it boasts surprisingly little R-rated nudity. Either way, long sequences of Stone in
risque sexual situations do little to counteract gratingly bad dialogue, identikit characters, and Phillip Noyce's by-the-numbers direction.
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