Games is a low-key suspenser with more appeal to the intellect than to the emotions. Simone Signoret stars in the first major studio effort by ex-indie filmmakers, producer George Edwards and director Curtis Harrington. Colorful production values add a visual hypo to the apparently deliberate, underplaying of a fairish script, leisurely directed.
The Harrington-Edwards story concerns a modern couple, Paul and Jennifer, played by James Caan and Katherine Ross, who supposedly live in a hedonistic atmosphere. Lisa (Signoret), an immigrant reduced to peddling door-to-door cosmetics, becomes a house guest. A series of practical jokes leads to the murder of Norman (Don Stroud, Universal contractee moved to pix from TV work), and Jennifer eventually loses her mind.
Harrington’s evident attempt was to create a quiet terror, long on slow-building suspense and short on blatant shock values; the attempt was admirable, the achievement less so. For in the process, audiences have too much time to think.
Despite script, three stars are competent. Visual consultant Morton Haack and art directors Alexander Golitzen and William D. DeCinces went all out in the far-out interior trappings of the house.