Single White Female
Director: Barbet Schroeder
Stars: Bridget Fonda, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Steven Weber
Reviewed by Brian M. Sammons
Is this flick from 1992 a thriller or a horror movie? I mean the 90s were right at that time where no one was calling horror movies horror movies, like horror was a dirty word or something, even when they were so clearly horror films. Yes, I am looking squarely at you, Academy Award-winning The Silence of the Lambs from 1991. Yes, you ARE a horror movie, deal with it. Anyway, as for this one, it’s now out on Blu-ray from the horror masters over at Scream Factory so that’s good enough for me. Also I remember Jennifer Jason Leigh getting naked a lot in this, and as a high school student before the internet was really a thing, I liked that. A lot. So let’s dive into Single White Female and see if it still holds up after 26 years. Damn, now I feel old…
In this film Bridget Fonda is a young busy woman who just went through a bad break up with her live-in beau. Looking for some help with the rent on the apartment she just got now that he’s out of the picture, she looks for a roomie on the sly (as she’s not supposed to have one) and comes across the quiet and meek Jennifer Jason Leigh. Naturally the two get along great, until B starts noticing some cracks in the mask of sanity that J wears. It’s only little things at first, but they soon grow and start to pile up until you’re getting peticide, mail tampering, weird choices in haircuts, neighbor abuse, boyfriend befuddlement, and more. There are really not too many surprises here as everything goes about how you expect it to with these kind of movies, but what saves the movie are great performances by all the actors, and that goes double for the three leads Fonda, Leigh, and Steven Weber. The highlight for me is Jennifer Jason Leigh who is often hit or miss with me, but here she is great in a role that calls for her to be both sympathetic and menacing, sometimes at the same time.
On to the extras that Scream Factory has put on this new Blu-ray release. First there is an audio commentary with director Barbet Schroeder, editor Lee Percy, and associate producer Susan Hoffman. Director Schroeder comes back for a 27-minute interview. There are also interviews; one with actor Peter Friedman that is seven minutes long, one with Steven Weber that is nearly 20 minutes long, and another one with screenwriter Don Roos that runs almost 26 minutes. There is also a theatrical trailer on here. So not a ton of extras, but it is far from bare bones, either.
Single White Female is a thriller that veers more than once into the realm of horror and the homicidal. It’s nothing amazing but it is a more than solid example of 90s filmmaking that should keep you entertained throughout. Add to that the HD transfer and all the extra goodies, and it’s easy for me to recommend this one.