Wild Things can be classified as one of those guilty pleasure movies that we check out from time to time. Teeming with sexuality and suspense, it also has a decent story and excellent acting. All the lead roles were great, and along with their good looks, they brought talent and skill to the set. Actually, when I think about it, a story in Wild Things is quite complex and utterly realistic. And on the other hand, it feels distant and I guess that’s the part of the thrill.
There are many surprising twists and the whole direction of the story is quite unpredictable. Not to mention just how potent and powerful are themes explored here. I don’t want to reveal too much, so I will skip going over them. And all this is happening in the hot and humid Florida, a perfect place for a story like this. I immediately remembered Night Moves from 1975 and 17-year-old Melanie Griffith as a runaway teenager. Also, there’s a huge wealth gap between the rich families living in mansions and the poor trailer camp crowd.
As lead singer of Twisted Singer, Dee Snider said once: if you look for medical references in our songs, you will find them. But also if you look to S & M references they are there too. At this point, I think we should address the elephant in the room and that’s the sexual content. And while there are some scenes of sexual intercourse and nudity, they’re not at the core of this movie. The sexually charged atmosphere where you can feel the tension in the air is the reason for this hype. So, don’t go into this movie expecting a pornographic experience. Wild Things perfectly captured the zeitgeist of not only the nineties but presumably eighties also. It’s all about sexual concepts and interactions. Out of which the older man – younger girl is the least potent albeit the oldest one.
Sam Lombardo is a high school counselor in the southern part of Florida living the good life. With his good looks and charm, the women find him irresistible, and he enjoys this harmless flirting, even with his students. But he never crosses the line, controlling his urges. That, however, is soon to change and two hot young girls will find themselves in the thick of it.
Apart from young Matt Dillon, the stars of this movie are Neve and Denise. Their on-screen chemistry and almost mythical roles of young temptresses seared into the subconscious minds of many viewers. And I’m definitely one of them. I come back to Wild Things every few years and every time I’m able to immerse myself completely in it. It’s really strange how certain movies have this effect on us, making us drop everything and disappear into the story. And at the same time, we’re sure feeling something in the real and that something is getting bigger and bigger.
Wild Things toys with our emotions, reactions and creates this larger-than-life world. A world that might not be realistic but is sure as shit entertaining. It’s at the same time trashy, intelligent, and potent, a powerful blend of things to say the least. The technical details are all top-notch from cinematography to production values, everything was done with the utmost precision and skill. It’s no wonder that the movie spawned three sequels. You can check them out but they are nowhere near the quality of the original. I think you would be better off with the rest of the nineties erotic thrillers like Basic Instinct, Cruel Intentions, and Bound. Striptease and Showgirls feature a more easygoing vibe but are still in the same category. Enjoy.
Director: John McNaughton
Writer: Stephen Peters
Cast: Kevin Bacon, Matt Dillon, Neve Campbell, Denise Richards, Bill Murray, Theresa Russell
Fun Facts: Before the filming of an outdoor scene by the river, a gaffer was fixing the lights and noticed something floating by in the river. It was a dead body. The police removed it and they were done shooting the scene.