Dir. John Schlesinger
Reviewer. Dan Cook
One year after starring as the definitive Dark Knight, Michael Keaton went from Batman to badman in PACIFIC HEIGHTS, John Schlesinger’s tense psycho-thriller that sees the usually comedic and likeable actor as a truly unpleasant character. In the film, Keaton plays a mysterious and sly tenant who does everything he can to both financially and psychologically destroy his personable landlords (Melanie Griffiths and Matthew Modine) who are legally powerless to stop his mysterious but undoubtedly malicious actions.
The idea of being attacked in your own house is a terrifyingly relatable one and director Schlesinger, thanks to some voyeuristic camera work and Hans Zimmer’s brooding underscoring, expertly turns the couples palatial San Francisco apartment building into a claustrophobic and perilous nightmare - where late night hammering and random cockroach infestations quickly wear down the patience of both the central twosome and the other tenants of the building. PACIFIC HEIGHTS certainly follows many of the standard conventions of the domestic horror thriller and seasoned viewers of the genre will find few surprises here. However, it is still a perfectly serviceable little nerve-shredder that proves once again that while home is where the heart is, it is can also be a place of terror and danger.