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Re­view: ‘Be­hind Closed Doors’ is grip­ping do­mes­tic thriller

Sun.Star Cebu Weekend - - Contents -

THE do­mes­tic thriller genre is based on a sim­ple theme — some­times the worst ter­ror comes not from strangers but from those clos­est to us. That premise receives a grip­ping work­out in B.A. Paris’ ter­ri­fy­ing and of­ten re­al­is­tic de­but. “Be­hind Closed Doors,” a best-seller last year in the U.K., is now re­ceiv­ing its U.S. launch.

Grace Har­ring­ton ex­pected a hap­pily-ever-af­ter end­ing when she mar­ried suc­cess­ful, charm­ing and hand­some Jack An­gel af­ter a whirl­wind ro­mance. Be­sides, they aren’t the only cou­ple who de­cided to wed a few months af­ter they met, nor are they the only ones who mar­ried with­out hav­ing first slept to­gether. Jack seems per­fect, es­pe­cially be­cause he gen­uinely seems to care about Grace’s 17-year-old sis­ter, Mil­lie, who has Down’s syn­drome.

But Grace dis­cov­ers on their wed­ding night that Jack is only in­ter­ested in the fa­cade of per­fec­tion that his new wife brings to the mar­riage. By day, she is a vir­tual pris­oner in her bed­room in the cou­ple’s pris­tine man­sion in Spring Ea­ton, Eng­land. Grace knows she has to obey Jack’s ev­ery de­mand and keep up ap­pear­ances, es­pe­cially when they have guests for din­ner.

“Be­hind Closed Doors” al­ter­nates be­tween the cou­ple’s past and present, show­ing how re­lent­less in­tim­i­da­tion has af­fected Grace. Once a bright, in­de­pen­dent ex­ec­u­tive whose job took her around the world, she is soon re­duced to timid­ity. Jack has made it clear that he will hunt her down and harm Mil­lie if Grace leaves him.

Jack’s con­stant ha­rangu­ing some­times makes him re­sem­ble a vil­lain from a melo­drama who has come look­ing for the rent. One ex­pects the cape and mous­tache to ap­pear at any mo­ment. Still, the sense of be­liev­ably and ter­ror that en­gulfs “Be­hind Closed Doors” doesn’t wa­ver. (OLINE H. COGDILL/As­so­ci­ated Press)

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