A Demon in My View (1991, aka The Man Next Door)

A Demon in My View (1991, aka The Man Next Door)


A shy loner, Arthur Johnson (Anthony Perkins, Psycho), is really the man dubbed by the press as “The Kenbourne Killer,” responsible for a series of brutal murders. No one suspects Johnson, that is, until a writer (Uwe Bohm, My Best Enemy) starts paying closer attention to his neighbor.

Reaction & Thoughts:

Based on British author Ruth Rendell’s 1976 award-winning crime novel of the same name, A Demon in My View (aka The Man Next Door) is an obvious but nicely understated thriller grounded by the fine work of actor Anthony Perkins.

One has to admire writer-director Petra Haffter for trying to breathe new life into a cliché-ridden narrative. He almost succeeds. Haffter puts most of his attention on character development, not horror, which may irritate fans of gore.

Although the script is far from perfect, technically speaking, A Demon in My View is a movie filled with goodies. Unlike his bombastic work for Brian de Palma, Italian composer Pino Donaggio’s (Carrie, Dressed to Kill and Body Doble) music score is low-key, but extraordinarily effective. The atmospheric cinematography is by Frank Brühne. The nice sets were designed by Josef Sanktjohanser.

In one of his last films, Perkins plays a character not that much different from Norman Bates (Psycho). Perkins has, of course, done these parts ad nauseam. Perkins makes a valiant effort to create an entirely new character.

Sophie Ward — the daughter of British actor Simon Ward (Young Winston and Supergirl) — plays Uwe Bohm’s married girlfriend. The cast also includes Stratford Johns (The Lair of the White Worm), Deborah Lacey (Straight Outta Compton), James Aubrey (The Hunger) and Michael Simkins (V for Vendetta).

Conclusions & Final Thoughts:

As I said before, A Demon in My View is not perfect but it is suspenseful and entertaining. And it’s always fun to see Perkins play a disturbed man; he’s the main reason to watch this entertaining psychological thriller. Color, 110 minutes, Rated R.

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