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Bad Influence

Score: 80%
Rating: R
Publisher: Shout! Factory
Region: A
Media: Blu-ray/1
Running Time: 99 Mins.
Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio

Subtitles: English SDH


  • Under the Influence - New Interview with Writer David Koepp

Bad Influence puts Rob Lowe and James Spader head-to-head in a thriller that will have you watching Spader's character be led down a dark path, all the while hoping that he will find a way back before he's gone too far.

Michael (Spader, The Blacklist, Stargate), is an accountant at a high profile firm. On the surface, everything seems to be going well for him. He's engaged, has a fancy condo, tons of gadgets (even a big TV and a video camera ... did I mention Bad Influence is from 1990?) and he is one of two people in the running for a promotion. What more could he want right? Well, when the rival for his promotion pulls a nasty maneuver made to make him look bad to his boss (John de Lancie, Star Trek: The Next Generation), Michael's subsequent depression sends him to a bar and trouble.

Just when it looks like Michael might be in for a world of hurt, Alex, (Lowe, Parks and Recreation) shows up and puts the assailant in his place. Impressed by Alex's attitude and personality, Michael finds himself taking advice from the man. What follows is a downward spiral that has Alex leading Michael further and further down a strange path. While the more empowered Michael seems to be doing better in the workplace, his personal life starts to take a different turn. The question is, is all of this for Michael's own good like Alex claims, or is Alex up to something more sinister?

I really enjoyed the one special feature that comes with Bad Influence. This interview with the film's screenwriter, David Koepp, is not only an interesting bit of insight into this movie's creation, but how Koepp got into the industry, and his early career choices that led him to write everything from Jurassic Park and Mission: Impossible to Spider-Man and War of the Worlds (as well as many more).

If you are into psychological thrillers with a distinctly 90's feel to them, then Bad Influence is right up your alley. Both Spader and Lowe are great in their roles and the suspenseful story is bound to keep you guessing how it will all turn out.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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