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Single White Female 2: The Psycho (November 6/05)

Single White Female 2 is the latest needless, thoroughly mediocre direct-to-video sequel to hit the market in recent months, joining the ranks of other painfully inept titles such as Day of the Dead 2 and Hellraiser: Hellworld. That it's essentially a remake of the 1992 Barbet Schroeder thriller - which itself was actually quite subpar, despite the presence of actors such as Jennifer Jason Leigh and Bridget Fonda - only compounds the unmistakable feeling of irrelevance at work here.

The film stars Kristen Miller as Holly Parker, an ambitious executive at a top PR firm who finds herself suddenly homeless after a sleazy co-worker (Brooke Burns) sleeps with her boyfriend (Todd Babcock). After a cliched apartment search that brings her face-to-face with a punk rocker and an aggressive smoker, Holly finds an ideal roommate in Tess Kositch (Allison Lange). As expected, Tess is eventually revealed to be a card-carrying psycho - this is after an extraordinarily tedious opening hour - leaving Holly with no choice but to somehow extricate Tess from her life.

Single White Female 2 has been directed by Keith Samples, a movie executive with only one other credit to his name (the surprisingly unwatchable A Smile Like Yours). Samples' visual choices are flat and lifeless, and the filmmaker seemingly possesses a bizarre aversion to anything even remotely resembling style (there are sitcoms on the WB that are more interesting to look at). The screenplay - written by three (!) men - eschews actual plot in favor of banal, stilted dialogue in which Holly and her competitive colleague lobby for an oft-discussed promotion, but the majority of this stuff just feels like needless padding.

Let's not even get started on the myriad of inexplicable plot developments peppered throughout the story, including a ridiculous sequence in which Holly follows Tess into an S&M club. It's there that Holly's suspicions are confirmed, as she spots Tess being voluntarily strangled by some dude (all the while begging him to squeeze tighter). Likewise, Single White Female 2 is jam-packed with the sort of elements one might expect out of a '70s exploitation flick - minus the sex and violence (the film is shockingly tame in regards to both).

This is a bad, incompetently made film with virtually no redeeming qualities, and certainly makes one appreciate some of the less impressive (yet kind of watchable) straight-to-video sequels that have come before it (ie Vampires: Los Muertos, The Prophecy: Uprising, etc).

out of

About the DVD: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment presents Single White Female 2: The Psycho with a crisp letterboxed transfer, along with several promotional trailers (Single White Female, Wild Things: Diamonds in the Rough, The Deal, and Murder at the Presidio). It's also worth noting that this is the latest direct-to-video title not to feature subtitles or closed-captioning, a baffling decision that's just inappropriate in this day and age.
© David Nusair