For this installment of #FreakyFriday we’re bringing you a suburban nightmare. You always think you can trust the neighbors, but what happens when one of them decides they want your life, no matter the cost? Such is the tale of Consenting Adults, Alan J. Pakula’s 1992 film that chronicles the horrors of suburban living. The film will make you questions whether you really know the neighbors, after all.
The story begins as Richard Parker (Kevin Kline) and his wife Priscilla live an ordinary suburban life until they meet their new neighbors Eddy (Kevin Spacey) and Kay Otis. The two couples soon became friends and start spending time together. Kay’s talent for blues singing gets Richard’s attention, and Eddy is attracted to Priscilla. It becomes clear that Eddy is a scam artist who fakes a neck injury after an auto accident for the insurance proceeds. The plot takes a nasty turn when Richard does sleep with Kay (supposedly without her realizing that he is not her husband) and Kay turns up bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat the next morning.
Consenting Adults does have some problems as a film. Currently, on Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 27% approval rating; a huge disappointment for Pakula, who directed Academy Award winning films like Klute (1971) and All the President’s Men (1976). While we do get to revel in the performances of two incredible actors, Kevin Spacey and Kevin Kline, the film lacks plot distinction and comes off as lackluster.
But, what doesn’t disappoint, is the scenery. Consenting Adults is one of the many Hollywood movies to have chosen Newton County as its backdrop. However, Consenting Adults uses our gorgeous Covington neighborhoods and turns them into something sinister. You always get the feelings that something wicked is just around the corner.
All in all, Consenting Adults is a pretty safe choice for thriller lovers. But, you get to revel in Newton County’s beauty, along with the stellar performances of Kevin Kline and Kevin Spacey. Check out the very last scene, in which filmmakers chose an isolated house in Covington’s countryside. It captures the perfect contrast between the beauty of the surroundings and the horror our characters just escaped. Consenting Adults was released in October of 1992 by Buena Vista Pictures.