Two girls have an intense fantasy life; their parents, concerned the fantasy is too intense, separate them, and the girls take revenge.
Release Year: 1994
Rating: 7.5/10 (31,808 voted)
Stars: Melanie Lynskey, Kate Winslet, Sarah Peirse
Based on the true story of Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker, two close friends who share a love of fantasy and literature, who conspire to kill Pauline's mother when she tries to end the girls' intense and obsessive relationship.
Writers: Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson
Honora Parker Rieper
Dr. Henry Hulme
The true story of a crime that shocked a nation.
Release Date: 14 October 1994
Filming Locations: Canterbury, New Zealand
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $31,592
Did You Know?
Co-writer Fran Walsh suggested the idea of making the Parker-Hulme murder into a film to director Peter Jackson. Walsh said she had a fascination with the murder since childhood.
Honora is hanging sheets on the line (or unpegging them) which still have clear fold marks from the packets they were sold in.
[Director Peter Jackson opens with the scene that should, logically, end the film: that is, the moments immediately following the murder. The girls Juliet and Pauline run screaming up the hill-path to the tea-house, sobbing and covered in blood. The scene is intercut with b&w visions of the two running across a ship deck to meet Dr. and Mrs. Hulme, whom they both refer to as their mother, as the first three exclamations of "Mummy!" demonstrate]
[the scene changes from the ship to the hilltop tea-house. The girls are screaming hysterically as the tea-house woman runs out to see what the noise is all about]
Not just for teens, this is…well…awesome…
I understand why teenage girls would like this movie–the thrilling rush of
new found deep friendship tied together with nascent sexuality and all that
comes with it…the defying of the confines of the world around them…the
incredible power of unfettered creativity and self-delusional
What's amazing is that a jaded thirty-something man like myself would
consider it to be his favorite film of all time.
Peter Jackson shows a deftness in handling interpersonal characterizations
and blending in amazing special effects in a way that seems so natural…so
fluid…that you while you're awed by what you see, you're not so aware of
the process that you're distracted. The oh-so-1993 effect of "morphing" is
used better here than any other film (save, perhaps, Terminator 2–but in
that movie, the morphing WAS the film…when here, it is merely one
The direction is exemplary. The cinematography is awe inspiring. The
script is sharp. The acting…down the line…is superb. Melanie Lynskey
delivers a brave performance–giddy, childish, frightening, sexual,
clouded… She's everything Christina Ricci pretends to be. Kate
Winslet–hyper-bright and wonderful…her performance here reminds you that
her "Titanic" performance was "sunk" (sorry!) by the extremely poor dialogue
she was given. Her character's overly cheerful demeanor is a mask that
covers her disappointment in her parents–but it's extended so far that it
no longer seems like a mask…it seems to be a force of nature that drags
Lynskey's Pauline along for a dangerous ride…a ride that Winslet's Juliet
is in no position to control. There are crisp performances from all of the
supporting cast as well.
Jackson should be listed with Gilliam and even Lynch when it comes to
directors who can achieve a glorious, if dark, vision. The fact that
Jackson's movies (save for "Meet the Feebles") are mainstream accessible–in
ways that Lynch, especially, could barely consider (although "The
Frighteners" was painfully overlooked by the US market)–makes me wish that
he'd try his hand at more mainstream material.
Imagine what a Peter Jackson "Titanic" would have been like…and
compare that to what a James Cameron "Heavenly Creatures" would have been
like and you get my point.