Starring: Cary Elwes, Alicia Silverstone, Jennifer Rubin
Director: Alan Shapiro
Running Time: 89 mins
The Crush is an American film about a journalist who moves into a wealthy family’s guesthouse, but soon begins receiving unwanted attention from their 14 year-old daughter.
Threatening to stray into the deeply disturbing territory of Lolita and more, The Crush certainly doesn’t hold back when it comes to detailing the terrifying consequences of a particularly forward young teenager, making for a disturbing, albeit rather infuriating watch.
That, of course, is the point, and while The Crush seems to market itself early on as a bit of a Basic Instinct-esque erotic thriller, much of the drama comes from the horror experienced by Cary Elwes’ adult character, who seemingly has no way to prove the advances being made on him by a 14 year-old girl.
That puts The Crush in the same uncomfortable vein as The Hunt, where preconceptions about guilt and truthfulness almost condemn one side of a horrible situation without a word being said in their defence.
Featuring a brilliantly disturbing lead performance from a very young Alicia Silverstone on her screen debut, The Crush is immediately unsettling from the start, and in tandem with the film’s tendency to never hold back from showing rather uncomfortable physical familiarity involving a young girl, it’s really quite tough to watch at first.
Admittedly, there are points where The Crush perhaps takes its forwardness a bit too far, and the film’s final act – which almost strays into Hitchcockian territory – just isn’t anywhere near as convincing as the blend of subtle drama and strikingly forward ‘horror’ in the early stages.
Of course, this isn’t a horror movie per se, but it has all the hallmarks of a really disturbing thriller, and the mental turmoil that the situation lands Cary Elwes’ character in is what really makes the film tick, wrapping you as the viewer up in the same infuriating madness throughout.
Overall, The Crush is full of captivating drama and some rather audacious narrative choices which, while not always sticking the landing, play a big role in making the film a disturbing and often infuriating watch. Getting right under your skin from the very start, Alicia Silverstone thrills in her first starring role, alongside a turn from Cary Elwes that you can’t help but feel sorry for. So, that’s why I’m giving the film a 7.4.