John Schlesinger's latest film is a slick little thriller that's far more powerful in the home environment than it was in the movie theater. Preying on our invasion-of-privacy fears, Pacific Heights literally hits us where we live.
In his first role since Batman, Michael Keaton stars as a mystery tenant who turns Melanie Griffith and Matthew Modine's dream house into a nightmare. He brings in creepy friends. He lets loose huge cockroaches. He lurks silently in the shadows. He doesn't pay his rent! Keaton, you see, is not only a scam artist, he's a psycho. As his mind games grow more malevolent, the tension steadily mounts that is, until Schlesinger shatters the mood, taking Keaton out of the house and turning the tables on him. Pacific Heights does go home again for a frightening finish. But it would have been scarier if it had never left the house.