Directed by John Polson, starring Jesse Bradford, Erika Christenson, Shiri Appleby, Kate Burton, Clayne Crawford and Jason Ritter.
Earlier this year, the release of 'Unfaithful' resurrected the obsessive thriller style of 'Fatal Attraction', a film, let's face it, that became a genre all by itself. As if one poor imitator isn't enough, along comes 'Swimfan', a calculated attempt at tapping into a burgeoning teen market jaded by 'American Pie' style comedies. It's also quite handy that the target audience was probably still in nappies when the original - alleged to have actually made men think twice about having affairs - was released.
Aussie director John Polson bases this story pretty much on the same foundations as the original, but with younger flesh and less class. Ben Cronin (Bradford) has the potential to be a champion swimmer. He lives with his doctor mum and has a gorgeous, adoring girlfriend Amy (Appleby). Both are on the brink of prestigious college places and Ben is almost assured an Olympic future. If that isn't enough, he works part-time in a hospital and is popular and good-looking. Enough.
Ben's perfect life is catapulted into chaos with the arrival of new girl Madison Bell (Christenson). Pretty, confident and persistent, she slowly manipulates Ben into a night of passion agreeing to keep it a secret… Madison then gets a job at the hospital and begins to sabotage Ben's life. She attempts to run Amy over, and verbatim 'Fatal Attraction', she visits his house - with flowers for his mother's birthday - when he's not home. The difference is that Madison tells everyone right from the start about her night with Ben so there is no procrastination due to a forced code of silence.
This is typical thriller stuff, where no one will believe Madison is an evil siren and Ben is blamed for her malevolence. Needless to say, the film builds towards a none-too-surprising climax that doesn't have anywhere near the impact of its predecessor. There is even a closing scene with a swimming pool (quelle surprise) but you'll have to go see it to find out whether Christenson comes up for air a la Glenn Close in the bathtub.
Hats off to a very competent young cast (Christenson and Bradford are particularly watchable), who make the best of a poor idea and unimaginative script. The teen comedy and teen horror genres have literally been done to death, let's hope this doesn't open the floodgates to teen thrillers that rehash old territory, please.