Paul and Jennifer are a pair of wealthy socialites who are bored with the same old games. In an effort to make their lives more interesting they routinely perform kinky mind games on unsuspecting people. When Lisa, a mysterious older saleswoman, arrives in their home, they quickly take a liking to the woman that leads to their seemingly harmless games turning deadly. Curtis Harrington's Games draws heavily from Les Diaboliques, yet separates itself enough to deliver an effective, mysterious and engaging thriller. Early on in Games, Harrington does a great job at creating an atmosphere soaked in mystery and suspense. With well-timed sound effects (lighting crashing in the distance) and great use of voyeuristic shots, Harrington hints early on that something is amidst among Paul, Jennifer and their new guest, Lisa. Come to think of it, Harrington's direction is really a major reason the film works as well as it does, using great transition shots which not only provide smooth transitions but effectively capture mood and character motivations. These three characters primary intentions are to play games on each other, sometimes going as far as to stage spousal abuse or adultery to get a rise out of each other. This trickery leaves the viewer guessing to the very end with Jill's old world beliefs such as physic abilities, further aiding in making the viewer truly believe almost anything is possible within the narrative. Games has a diabolically clever ending but with today's audiences being so savvy one could potentially see it coming but there is no denying the films effectiveness regardless. Curtis Harrington's Games is very ahead of its time, providing the viewer with a creepy and fun mystery/thriller that is likely to keep the viewer intrigued til the very end.
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