Poison Ivy

1992 Directed by Katt Shea. Starring Sara Gilbert, Drew Barrymore, Tom Skerritt, Cheryl Ladd.

REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., June 26, 1992

There's a great deal of sickness here. But there's also an abundance of intelligent, absorbing, well-presented and well-performed material so that the dramatic aspects are mesmerizing and the thriller aspects are...well, disturbing. Problem is, the movie shifts gears abruptly in mid-story and what had previously been merely melodramatic extremism turns into hyperbolic horror. Ivy (Barrymore) is part-child, who seeks out a secure place in a family unit which she so sorely lacks; but she is also part-demon seed, who usurps what she wants and lives to destroy. With shocking carnality, she makes Dad forget that she's his daughter's school-age pal. For Mom, that deathbed may never have looked so comfy. And Cooper (Gilbert) may soon discover that her best friend might really be her mom (or some variation thereof). Once events reach this fevered pitch, the plot starts spinning wildly out of control until it virtually self-combusts. Grab the calamine lotion, quick.

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Poison Ivy, Katt Shea, Sara Gilbert, Drew Barrymore, Tom Skerritt, Cheryl Ladd

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