Sliver was directed by the Australian Phillip Noyce, who made the fine Dead Calm (1989) in his homeland, went onto banal American mainstream efforts such as The Saint (1997), The Bone Collector (1999), Salt (2010) and The Giver (2014), finding eventual critical acceptance with the later likes of Rabbit Proof Fence (2001) and The Quiet American (2002). The film is adapted from a 1991 novel by Ira Levin, author of multiply filmed works like Rosemarys Baby (1967), The Stepford Wives (1972) and The Boys from Brazil (1976).
It it is a slickly made film but one that seems indifferently executed. The plot lacks tightness as a thriller. It does pick up briefly towards the end when Sharon Stone becomes drawn into William Baldwins voyeurism and we too feel some of the fascination with what he describes as a real-life soap opera. The video scenes look slickly exciting through the hi-tech finish given to the video room sets and, if nothing else, the marvellous flickering, changing and zooming tv console.
Sharon Stone Undressed (Again!) was made the big selling point of the film and what little interest there is comes from the admittedly heated and steamy sex scenes. However, in the US cinematic release some four minutes of these scenes were cut although even with these in in the international print, the film generated little interest. Sharon Stones playing is neurotic and barely adequate, she only ever at all coming to life in (surprise! surprise!) the sex scenes. The one person who does unexpectedly come to the fore in the film is William Baldwin who comes across with strikingly dark and handsome sexual charisma.
Other Ira Levin film adaptations of genre note are:- Roman Polanskis classic Satanic impregnation film Rosemarys Baby (1968), The Boys from Brazil (1978) about a Nazi cloning conspiracy, the android housewife takeover film The Stepford Wives (1975), the whodunnit parody Deathtrap (1982), the remake of The Stepford Wives (2004) and the tv mini-series remake of Rosemarys Baby (2014).