The Passion of Darkly Noon (1995)

Rating: C+

Dir: Phillip Ridley
Star: Brendan Fraser, Ashley Judd, Viggo Mortensen

There’s a certain inevitability about this, from the moment religious idiot Fraser is dumped on Judd’s doorstep in the middle of a forest. For Judd is a comic-book slut, and mute husband Mortensen is off elsewhere in the forest… Anyone expect a happy ending to this head-on collision between sex and faith? Thought not. After 30 minutes of unresolved sexual tension, it’s a relief when hubby returns, and the film starts moving towards largely-foreseeable tragedy.

Anyone used to the clean-cut, heroic, shallow Brendan Fraser seen in The Mummy is in for a shock or two, and instead it’s Judd who is the weak link, her performance largely limited to wearing short skirts and rubbing herself with ice-cubes. It’s this glaring obviousness which gives the film its predictability: Ridley counters with some jarringly effective editing, and once he accepts it’s blatantly apparent where he is heading, the movie builds a good head of steam. Besides, I always have time for any “religion screws you up” pic!