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movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Swimfan

Starring: Erika Christensen, Jesse Bradford
Director: John Polson
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 84 Minutes
Release Date: September 2002
Genres: Horror, Suspense

*Also starring: Shiri Appleby, Kia Joy Goodwin, Nick Sandow, Clayne Crawford, Dan Hedaya, James DeBello

Review by Susan Granger
2 stars out of 4

In this teen version of "Fatal Attraction," the life of a hunky high-school swimmer is forever changed when he's seduced by 'the new girl in town.' The champion swimmer in an upscale New York suburb, Ben Cronin (Jesse Bradford) not only has a chance to win an athletic scholarship to Stanford but he also has a wholesome, devoted, long-time girl-friend (Shiri Appleby). Then sexy Madison Bell (Erika Christensen), a transfer student, sets her sights on him, and her slithering in a red bikini is too good a pool prize for Ben to refuse. Immediately feeling guilty about his impetuous indiscretion, Ben tells Madison it's a one-time fling. She pretends to understand but what Ben doesn't realize - at first - is how diabolically persuasive, selfish and obsessive Madison can be. Then the creepy e-mails with Madison's topless photo arrive - 81 in one day! - along with beeper messages, phone calls and an unannounced visit to meet his mother. On the other hand, even his swim coach (Dan Hedaya) realizes that Ben's not too bright, particularly as he's coping with anxiety-ridden memories of past sins that once landed him in a juvenile detention center. As a result, Ben gets in too deep and the homicidal stalking continues far too long. The derivative, sophomoric script by Charles Bohl and Phillip Schneider, directed by John Polson, eventually gets soggy and ridiculous, sinking to madness, even murder. Jesse Bradford ("Clockstoppers") remains remarkably bland throughout his ordeal as pouty Erika Christensen (Michael Douglas's drug-addicted daughter in "Traffic") goes over-the-top crazy. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Swimfan" is a shoddy, shallow 5. It's a psychological thriller with cautionary clout: Don't do a one-night stand with a psychopath!

Copyright 2002 Susan Granger

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