Stalker is loosely based on the 1976 movie Exposé otherwise known as The House On Straw Hill. Paula played by Anna Brecon is a struggling author who has been suffering from severe case of writers block since the release of her best selling novel. Paula’s agency ran by Sarah (Jennifer Matter) is putting pressure on her to develop another block. In order to help her and beat her writers block Sarah suggests the Paula heads to a country retreat to take some time out and focus on her next novel. No sooner has Paula arrived however and Linda (Jane March) arrives, Linda has been sent by the agency to help Paula write the new novel and work as her personal assistant but as time goes on and their relationship builds Paula starts to have suspensions over Linda’s presence there.
Stalker was originally made as a direct remake of the aforementioned 1976 movie. The movie however struggled and its producer approached actor and former singer Martin Kemp to star in the movie. Instead of starring in the movie Kemp took over the reigns as the movies director and decided to take it on a slightly different angle claiming that it was not a remake Exposé but a story inspired by it. Produced by Black and Blue films who previously released Dead Cert, Devil’s Playground, and Strippers Vs Werewolves. After a series of rather failed projects Stalker does feel slightly more finished and accomplished Than the companies other output. This is being said when you sit and watch the movie something still feels like it’s very much missing, a frequent criticism of the company other movies.
The trouble with remaking or at least revisiting a previously made movie is that you do need to bring something new to the table. Sadly Stalker brings nothing new, even if you’ve seen Exposé or not you do feel like you’ve seen this film before or at least a variation of it. It’s all just just a bit too predictable and slightly underwhelming. It takes only a few minutes after the introduction of Linda to really understand who she is, and this sadly is the movies critical shock for want of a better word. The movies creators really, really want you to be surprised by the revelation of Linda, but it fails badly.
Cast wise its a mixture of the very good and the very bad, it’s nice to see actress Jane March again onscreen and her time away has not affected her acting performance. It’s also nice to see Linda Hayden in the movie, Linda starred in Exposé as the main character, here she takes a secondary role as Mrs Brown the housekeeper. You also have a very capable Billy Murray as the character of Grainer a journalist seeking a scoop on the once a-list author Paula. but then sadly you have the other end of the spectrum actress Jennifer Matter does not do anything to inspire you that she is the character she pertains to be, her performance is variable in quality from very good to at times excruciatingly bad. While Anna Brecon just simply does not work and spends most of the movie is hysterical rack and not a particularly likeable one that either, it’s in this performance that the movie has it’s a real downfall you expect something a little bit better from its leading light. The movie also includes Colin Salmon as psychiatrist Leo Fox, Salmon is one of those actors who fails to inspire, years ago he was convincing and compelling but now it seems that he can just deliver one role regardless of whatever movie is starring in.
It is certainly no surprise to this author that the movie has failed to inspire an audience, it simply is lacking in so much, there seems to be a complete lack of character development, the whole scenario feels empty and devoid of life even down to the fact that except for the eight main cast members you don’t really see anyone else the whole movie.
I’m a big fan of Martin Kemp as an actor, but sadly and almost certainly in this case as a director his style needs some work still, but then most directors get off to a rocky start, making movies that most people never see, sadly for Kemp his status means that this is a movie that he might not be able to shake off quite so easily.