FILMS: RECORDED DELIVERY

Kissed (18) Hi Fliers, rental, 3 Jul

Who says romance is dead? Well, Molly Parker does as Sandra Larson, the young necrophiliac in Lynne Stopkewich's discreet film, which in spite of the chilly nature of its subject, achieves a surprising warmth. Filthmongers and puritans will be disappointed by the film's refusal to sensationalise the young girl's clandestine activities. Instead, Stopkewich sensitively catalogues Larson's sympathetic fascination with dead animals, her mortician's training and her endeavours to "pass over to the other side" by having sex with corpses. There are some queasy moments as she learns the art of embalming - discovering that one needs to apply a vacuum cleaner to rid a corpse of its stomach contents - and some heart-rending scenes as her boyfriend Matt, (Jay Brazeau), struggles to meet her singular sexual requirements. A sublimely moving dissection of a grim and lonely perversion. HHHH

I Know What You Did Last Summer (18) Entertainment, 3 Jul

Writer Kevin Williamson - of Scream fame - churns out another teenage stalk'n'slash flick which, aside from the odd fright, isn't a patch on its predecessor. Beset by panic after a hit-and-run accident, four teenagers dump a body into a river, but a year later they are tormented with anonymous notes, scary phone calls and a stalker with a penchant for hairdressing. Jim Gillespie's film desperately lacks the knowing wit and quivering tension of Scream, though it is lively enough for mindless entertainment. HH

The Crucible (12) Fox, retail, 3 Jul

Based on Arthur Miller's enduringly grisly play about the 17th-century Salem witch trials, Nicholas Hytner's rendition is absolutely terrifying. The complacent puritanism of a small community is turned upside-down by the demented Abigail (Winona Ryder), who is discovered dancing around a bonfire and casting love spells in the woods with her friends. Fearing punishment, they blame the devil and accuse other villagers of encouraging them with satanic visitations. There is a ferocious performance from Daniel Day-Lewis as John Proctor, a farmer who becomes embroiled in the witch- hunting, and a wonderfully stern performance from Paul Scofield as the magisterial judge. HHHH

Fiona Sturges

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