is a psychological thriller released in 1991
The year 1991 in film involved some significant events.-Events:*April 28 - Bonnie Raitt marries actor Michael O'Keefe in New York* Terminator 2: Judgment Day, became one of the landmarks for science fiction action films with its groundbreaking visual effects from Industrial Light & Magic.*November...
. The film is directed by Frank de Felitta and stars Sharon Stone
Sharon Vonne Stone is an American actress, film producer, and former fashion model. She achieved international recognition for her role in the erotic thriller Basic Instinct...
, Ronny Cox
Daniel Ronald "Ronny" Cox is an American character actor, singer-songwriter and guitarist.-Personal life:Cox, the third of five children, was born in Cloudcroft, New Mexico, the son of Lounette and Bob P. Cox, a carpenter who also worked at a dairy. He grew up in Portales, New Mexico...
, and Steve Railsback
Steve Railsback is an American theatre, film and television actor, born in Dallas, Texas.-Personal life:Railsback was born Stephen Hall Railsback, in Dallas, Texas, the son of Emerett Spencer and Clyde Webb Railsback.-Career:Railsback was a student of Lee Strasberg and the Actors Studio and in...
The plot centers around the life of Angela Anderson (Stone), a sexually repressed woman in her mid twenties. The film begins with Angela buying a pair of large scissors from a hardware shop. On her way home she is attacked in the lift of her apartment block by a red bearded man, who she stabs with the scissors in self-defense. Immediately after the attack Angela is found by the twin brothers (Railsback) who live next door to her. The first brother Alex is the star of a successful soap opera, whilst the other Cole is a wheelchair-using artist. As the film progresses an attraction develops between Angela and Alex, which is constantly restrained by Angela's sexual repression. Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy is a therapy that is undertaken with a subject in hypnosis.The word "hypnosis" is an abbreviation of James Braid's term "neuro-hypnotism", meaning "sleep of the nervous system"....
sessions with her psychiatrist Dr Steven Carter (Cox) reveal a red bearded man named Billy in Angela's past, a startling coincidence to her recent attack.
Following her attack in the elevator, the increasing attention from Alex and the fear of Cole she develops, Angela's sheltered world starts to fall apart. Following another encounter with her red bearded attacker, and harassment from Cole, Angela finds herself lured with the prospect of a job to a large and mysterious apartment where she finds herself trapped.
In the master bedroom, Angela finds the body of her red bearded attacker, who has been murdered with the same pair of scissors at the start of the film. The only other living thing in the apartment with her is a caged raven, who caws repeatedly that Angela killed him. As Angela explores the apartment she finds it is full of exhibits relating to her own psychology, it is clear at this point the someone wants to drive Angela into insanity.
Meanwhile, Alex has discovered that Angie is missing and while trying to discover her whereabouts, his brother Cole suddenly stands up from his wheelchair, attacks Alex, and then mysteriously leaves.
After many failed escape attempts Angela takes the raven from its cage, ties a message to its leg and releases it into the air vent (using the blood stained scissors to remove the vent cover). Angela wakes up the following morning to find that the body of her attacker has been moved to the dining room, the mutilated corpse of the raven sits on a plate before it. The sight of this causes Angela to collapse in shock where she experiences a childhood flashback. In the flashback her red bearded stepfather Billy was murdered by her Mother with a pair of scissors before her eyes, the horror of which being the root of her repression.
The next day the apartment is visited by Dr Carter's wife, who is having an affair with the owner. She arrives to find her husband waiting for her, disguised in a red beard, revealing that he was Angela's attacker at the beginning of the film. He reveals to his wife that when he learned of the affair he murdered her lover with a pair of scissors and had set Angela up to take the fall by luring her to the apartment, and exploiting what he had discovered about her past during hypnotherapy sessions. Carter convinces his horrified but politically ambitious wife to go along with the frame, and they set out to find the scissors used in the murder, since it may be used as evidence against him, leaving the main door to the apartment open in the process. While wandering in a trance-like state, Angela ventures through the door closing it behind her and trapping Carter and his wife inside. Dr. Carter attempt to lure Angela back by posing as Billy, to no avail.
Outside Angela is rescued by Alex, who had tracked her to the apartment's address. The film ends with a trapped Carter banging the scissors furiously against the glass of the window, a liberated Angela looking back with a vengeful smile