Comfort of Strangers [1990]

Based on a creepy Ian McEwan novel, this Paul Schrader film stars Natasha Richardson and Rupert Everett as a married couple who find their marriage sliding into a morass of tedium. To reignite it, they visit Venice, where they fall under the spell of an urbane older couple, played by Christopher Walken (in one of his most chillingly insinuating roles) and Helen Mirren (who seems to be more his crippled acolyte than his wife). British reserve forces the younger couple to be polite to these strange birds, but increased exposure to them through coincidental meetings gradually pulls them into their deadly orbit. Adapted by Harold Pinter, it's a slightly arid but still goose-fleshy film in which nothing is what it seems to be and, what's worse, nothing familiar looks familiar anymore. --Marshall Fine

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