So it's funny to me that I would sit and re-watch, compulsively, movies like Poison Ivy, Lisa, and of course, The Crush - when I got home from school. I was fascinated by these stories. I felt like I connected with the girls in these films, age wise especially, but it was also like watching a train wreck happening before my ignorant eyes. Giiiiiirrrrrllll, what is wrong with yoooooooooouuu!!!?
I haven't seen The Crush in years, but I'm working on this year's 50 Films You May Have Missed List and added Lisa to it. The memories of this time in my life came flooding back.
Although, at the time, I struggled to develop a crush on anything besides music and the grunge scene, I did have a crush on Carey Elwes. Oh lordy, that made this film even more interesting for me!
I wanted this girl's life - her stuff, her looks, her house, her parents - I wanted what she had. Moody, angry, surprisingly and reluctantly responsible 14 year old me was All Over This. Top it off, Carey Elwes is living in her backyard. To be perfectly honestly, had I been in the same situation, I can not guarantee I wouldn't also spy on him a little bit too...
Here is where I'm once again promoting how pivotal time, place, environment - and age - impacts our perceptions of horror films. This film was a perfect storm for me at 14, and it left a severe (and unexpected) impression that I've never forgotten, one of the most predominate being: my introduction to mental illness in a way that I could understand it.
As much as I was fascinated by this villain, she also scared me - really, really scared me. She scared me because of my face value connection to her and yet she was not like me at all. There was something terribly, terribly wrong with the reasoning of my fellow teen. This film (much like Lisa and Poison Ivy), in no small way, introduced me to real world horrors that I should actually be afraid/aware of. Predatory behavior. Untreated, serious mental illness. Valuable information always, but at 14 with no prior understanding of it, invaluable.
In all, this film is about a young woman who develops a severely unhealthy attachment to a much older man. This is a scary story on multiple levels. To make it worse, this story was written and directed by a man who had experienced this situation himself - from an unhinged young woman when he lived in her parent's backyard. To make it even more terrible, that very family sued him when this film was released....
I'm not actually going to provide a really great review of the movie itself in this post - it's been too long since I've seen it and my judgement is seriously overshadowed by my history with it. Still wanted to write about it though, and I hope, to some degree, my little history will provide you with an idea of what it's about and how many boundaries it stretches across, making it a pretty great little horror film.
I think I might watch it tonight though.