TRACES OF RED
However, Traces of Red is far less than Basic Instinct ever was. For one, its attempts to emulate Basic Instinct are only red herrings the blonde femme fatale is not the killer and the attempt to build mystery up around her is one vast sidetrack that deliberately uses expectations that an audience has built up as a result of Basic Instinct. For another, Lorraine Bracco is not Sharon Stone. It could be said that Sharon Stone had little bar an ability to take her clothes off and ooze sexual aggressiveness but Bracco lacks even have that. The appeal of a film like this is an ability to create an atmosphere of steamily heated sexuality unfortunately, Lorraine Bracco appears to have it written into her contract that she doesnt have to take her clothes off. As a result, when it comes to the heated sex that is the films selling point, all we have is a camera that coyly cuts away or gives a few long-distance shots through a window of a body where the face has been kept out of camera. Bracco, who is a completely unconvincing blonde, gives a very bad performance. She wants to play the part as a bimbo which is not what the role requires and instead comes across as though she has her mind on something completely different altogether.
Traces of Red is reasonably well made on a production level but the plot strays all over the place, especially in the middle, which drops the mystery surrounding James Belushi and his stalker to take off after Tony Goldwyn and his investigation. The film begins with the eye-catching ploy of being narrated by its own dead hero (although this later proves to be a cheat). The storys one moment of genuine imagination appears to come during its revelation that the investigating hero is actually the killer himself. For a brief moment, this is a revelation that seems to give a genuine rationale to the absurd twists of plot that it is the hero sending all the taunting letters and twisting suspicion onto other people in an attempt to stop the crazy side of himself but this is thrown away in another dumb twist ending. The film is also notable for being the first psycho-thriller to use the Moral Panic surrounding repressed childhood memories. However, not much is done with this and the casting of a mans man actor like James Belushi gives no conviction to the character of a detective haunted by childhood abuse.
Traces of Red was the only cinematic film that director Andy Wolk has made and all his other work has been in series television of tv movies.
Full film available online here:-