The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992)


Curtis Hanson directs Annabella Sciorra, Rebecca De Mornay and Ernie Hudson in this domestic thriller where a yuppie couple’s new nanny harbours a vengeful agenda. 

One of the biggest yuppie in peril cycle movies of its day, this hasn’t aged well. Lacking the strong acting of Fatal Attraction or the visceral nastiness of Pacific Heights or Unlawful Entry, THTRTC instead settles into recreating a series of nightmare scenarios for housewives. Your gynaecologist molests you, the home help is accused of touching your kid, you suspect your best friend and husband are having an affair, everyone prefers to suck on Rebecca De Mornay’s nipples over yours, you struggle to get the right glass for your greenhouse, Ahhhh!… A black man just knocked on the kitchen window…. So it is dated and exploitative, a supermarket rack magazine writ large. It still works as a gentle potboiler and De Mornay is an icy antagonist.


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