Thrills, chills and a convincing perf by Goldie Hawn mark this stylishly absorbing thriller. Farfetched plot doesn't bear much scrutiny, but mesmerizing visual tone, macabre developments and sound entertainment value should sweep audiences along.

Thrills, chills and a convincing perf by Goldie Hawn mark this stylishly absorbing thriller. Farfetched plot doesn’t bear much scrutiny, but mesmerizing visual tone, macabre developments and sound entertainment value should sweep audiences along.

Hawn plays a New York art restoration expert who appears to be living a perfect life with her attractive career, cute kid (Ashley Peldon) and attentive, romantic husband (John Heard), who’s also in the ancient art biz. But when a forgery’s discovered at the museum, fingers are pointed at Heard. Then he’s killed in a car accident, and a Social Security worker informs Hawn her husband wasn’t whom he said he was – the real guy died years ago.

Pic segues ably into thriller territory as the undead husband (corpse buried was actually a charred hitchhiker) begins haunting his former home to try to recover a stolen Egyptian necklace he left behind. Meanwhile, Hawn has turned sleuth and is closing in on the disheartening truth about the con she married.

Their inevitable encounter packs the requisite scream value, and pic heightens into a chilling game of cat and mouse, climaxed by a horrifically successful pursuit sequence.

Director Damian Harris appears in full control of the medium, weaving in some effective Hitchcockian allusions and a couple of intentional good laughs.

Deceived

Production

Touchstone. Director Damian Harris; Producer Michael Finnell, Wendy Dozoretz, Ellen Collett; Screenplay Mary Agnes Donoghue, Derek Saunders [= Bruce Joel Rubin]; Camera Jack N. Green; Editor Neil Travis; Music Thomas Newman; Art Director Andrew McAlpine

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1991. Running time: 103 MIN.

With

Goldie Hawn John Heard Robin Bartlett Ashley Peldon Tom Irwin Amy Wright
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