Wild Things

6.61 h 48 min1998X-RayR
In the tony yachting enclave of Blue Bay, Florida, uppercrust teen temptress Kelly Van Ryan accuses her sexy guidance counselor of sexual assault, and the scandal soon affects virtually everyone in town.
John McNaughton
Kevin BaconMatt DillonNeve Campbell
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Theresa Russell
Steven A. JonesRodney Liber
Sony Pictures Television
R (Restricted)
Content advisory
Alcohol usefoul languagenuditysexual contentsmokingsubstance useviolence
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4.5 out of 5 stars

2703 global ratings

  1. 73% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 14% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 8% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 3% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Allen Garfield's #1 fan.Reviewed in the United States on March 4, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great Trashy Florida Noir!
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Wild Things" is lurid trash, with a plot so twisted they're still explaining it during the closing titles. It's like a three-way collision between a softcore sex film, a soap opera and a B-grade noir. I liked it. An update of 1981s Florida Noir, Body Heat.

90s queen of slick exploitation/teen horror, Neve Campbell gives Matt Dillon and Kevin Bacon lots of chances to squint ominously, and has a sex scene with Denise Richards (of "Starship Troopers") that is either gratuitous or indispensable, depending on your point of view.

Plus, it has Bill Murray (who also appeared in the director's Mad Dog and Glory, opposite De Niro and Uma Thurman) as a storefront lawyer (think: Saul Goodman) who delivers 20 minutes of hilarity, which at the time is the last thing we're expecting.

Movies such as this either entertain or offend audiences; there's no middle ground. Either you're a connoisseur of melodramatic comic vulgarity, or you're not. You know who you are. I don't want to get t I'm telling you: It's bad taste. Bad taste elevated to the level of demented sleaze.

The plot: Matt Dillon plays Lombardo, a high school teacher who was "educator of the year" and has an engraved lucite goblet to prove it. As the movie opens, he writes "SEX CRIMES" on the board at a school assembly, and introduces speakers on the subject, including police officers Duquette (Bacon) and Perez (Daphne Rubin-Vega). In the back of the room, a student named Suzie (Neve Campbell) stalks out, yelling "kiss my ***" It's not yet clear if she's referring to Bacon or Dillon, but this is the kind of plot where it works either way.

Then we meet Kelly Van Ryan (Denise Richards), the richest kid in the upscale Florida enclave of Blue Bay. She's got the hots for Mr. Lombardo. She follows him home, asks for rides, washes his Jeep and turns up in his living room so thoroughly soaked, she reminds us of the classic Hollywood line about Esther Williams: "Dry, she ain't much. Wet, she's a star!" Later, we see her leaving the teacher's humble bungalow, looking mad.

Why is she mad? The thing is, the ending of this film begins at the 45-minute mark, and is so complicated, I doubt if it can be given away. What sets up everything, in any event, is Kelly's testimony that she was raped by Mr. Lombardo--and the surprise testimony of Suzie that she was, too.

Suzie lives in a trashy trailer out behind an alligator farm run by Carrie Snodgress. But Kelly lives on the right side of town, in manorial splendor, with her bikini-wearing, cocktail swilling mom (Theresa Russell), who has had an affair with Lombardo despite being married to Robert Wagner. Hearing her daughter has been raped by him, Mom is enraged, and snarls, "That SOB must be insane to think he can do this to me!" That's the kind of dialogue that elevates ordinary garbage into great trash. Here's another line, after a murder: "My mother would kill me if she knew I took the Rover!" Bill Murray lands in the middle of this pie like a plum from heaven. Wearing a neck brace as part of an insurance scam, Murray runs his shabby storefront law office like a big downtown spread; when he asks his secretary to "show Mr. Duquette his way out," all she needs to do is look up and say, "goodbye," since the door is in arm's reach of everything else in the office.

Without giving away the ending, that's about all I can tell you. See the movie, and you'll understand how very much I must leave unsaid.

The director is Chicago based John McNaughton, whose work includes inspired films such as Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, the criminally underrated Normal
Life (bluray, please!) and the aforementioned Scorsese produced Mad Dog and Glory. He likes to show audiences how wrong their expectations are, by upsetting them. That worked in "Henry" as grim tragedy, and it works here as satire.

Don't leave when the end titles start to roll. Credit cookies (those little bonus scenes they stick in between "Key Grip" and "Location Catering") are usually used for outtakes showing Butt Reynolds blowing his lines or Jackie Chan breaking his legs. In Wild Things, McNaughton does something new: flashbacks, showing us stuff that was offscreen the first time around. The movie is still explaining itself as the "curtains" close. That said, any "explanation" would be a Warren Commission - like undertaking. But what a ride!

While the R-rated standard-def DVD version of 'Wild Things' included an audio commentary from director John McNaughton and some outtakes, there are zero supplements on this Blu-ray version of 'Wild Things' -- not even a theatrical trailer. To be fair, the deleted scenes from that earlier release have been reintegrated into this Unrated version, but the missing audio commentary is a real bummer (especially for a film with such a twisty plot).
36 people found this helpful
NosidinoReviewed in the United States on August 6, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Great Film That Ages Very Well!
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I can't believe this fine film has only been reviewed 316 times! I'd have expected at least 1000 reviews. I never saw this film in theatres but I did see it on video when it was released at Potomac Video stores Chevy Chase, DC. I was blown away by the story and the twists and turns. The DVD was even more enthralling, containing extra scenes that bolstered the story. These were unavailable on the VHS.

I seeing this movie again for the first time in 20 years. I must say it was as good if not better the second time around as it was first time. I had actually forgotten huge chunks of the plot in the ensuing two decades.

Matt Dillon plays Sam Lombardo, a high-school guidance counselor who is a player. But not only is he a player but a player who sleeps with his own kids. This appears to get him in trouble as he is accused of rape by Kelly Van Ryan, daughter of a wealthy Dade County socialite. Then there is Suzie Toller, brainless, backwards girl from the other side of the tracks--or is she? After recanting her testimony that Sam raped her too, a settlement in his lawsuit is made and he gets 8.5 million in cash--or does he? Kevin Bacon plays a dogged and virtuous cop in search of the truth--or is he?

All of these questions permeate the production of this fantastic mystery--a mystery with ore twists than an American pretzel. I loved it! Everything was original in this great yarn. The casting of the film was fantastic! Everyone was believable in their roles without any second guessing by the viewer. The sex, the violence, the action--all were believable. This was the first time I'd ever seen a threesome in a mainstream Hollywood production. It was great!

Now there were three post-credit scenes that were not originally included in the VHS release. These extra scenes cleared up many questions I had when I viewed this DVD (And Probably Also From My Original VHS Viewing, Too). I do feel it was a little bit over the top for Detective Duquette to barge into the guest house and murder poor Kelly. It was ridiculous and unnecessary--especially when it looked as if she was going to be tried for the murder of Suzie, anyway. Why throw away his career the way he had? I know what you are thinking. He was going to get millions. But why not get the millions AND keep his career, too? It might well have saved his life.

This was a film of double-double crosses. Sam double-crossed Kelly into thinking he'd killed Suzie while also duping Ray into believing that Suzie was dead as he attempted to remove him from the picture entirely. But in the end, Suzie kills them all! Wow, what an astonishing surprise! Women rule! Women on top and of course the lawyer, played wonderfully by Bill Murray. I highly recommend this movie. I'm the 317th person to review it on Amazon. Buy it and you won't be disappointed.

A. Nathaniel Wallace, Jr.

The morale of this story is to never take a boat ride with someone you've done a dodgy deal with until you've gotten your cut--and even then it's not a good idea. You certainly don't want to accept a drink from someone with whom you don't trust. After being offered a drink from Suzie, Sam should have told her to drink it first.
19 people found this helpful
SBC97223Reviewed in the United States on November 21, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
This is Really Good Movie
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Wild Things 1998 has every thing a modern noir needs. It has plot twists. It has many more sex scenes then the plot needs and it has a key to the movements of the main characters actions and motivations in case you missed in the body interspersed in the closing credits. And if I have a favorite image in this movie is is Suzi Piloting her Yacht.
Wild Things many Five Star ratings are over giving it bonus points images like that just as I am. This one is a memorable winner.
8 people found this helpful
Kai BergmanReviewed in the United States on January 23, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
"Lurid trash" soft porn, great if you just want to laugh at actors in roles they probably hated
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Roger Ebert accurately described this film as "lurid trash" and I totally agree. If your idea of an entertaining evening is paying a few bucks to watch a high school student (Denise Richards) cavorting naked with a high school counselor (Matt Dillon) in a spiteful competition with her depraved, narcissistic mother (Theresa Russell), this is the film for you. But don't expect a great mystery; the plot is so senselessly convoluted that it is impossible to suspend disbelief - they are still trying to explain it during the final credits. Russell struggles valiantly to fulfill her role, but comes off as an actress as damaged, desperate, and insecure as the character she portrays. Dillon appears to have phoned in his "performance" while reviewing more promising scripts. And Richards appears to have the dubious distinction of having been born already lobotomized; her vapidly energetic rendition leads me to believe that the fault is the director's, as she appears to do exactly as she is told - no matter how awkward and unbelievable as that direction may be - unthinkingly and with absolutely no comprehension of her character. The ONLY saving grace in this film is Bill Murray, who steals the show and gives a few minutes of comic relief to an otherwise wretched film.
8 people found this helpful
TimReviewed in the United States on May 25, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
No blu ray disc with 4K…
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Unfortunately the 4K edition ONLY comes with a 4K disc, and NO blu ray
5 people found this helpful
MarinedudejoeReviewed in the United States on September 23, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great adventure.
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A great thriller. Sexy wild and mysterious. This movie keeps changing and changing by the end you don’t know who’s guilty and who’s not yes it’s a little bit sexy so if you don’t like to see that then don’t watch the movie it’s not porn and it’s not even close to that but you might see you ladies breast in this movie again if that offends you don’t watch it but it’s a great detective mystery and will keep you on the edge of your seat you can’t figure out who’s guilty or watt and the very end is a real shocker I won’t even come close to sharing that with you you can’t go wrong you might not wanna watch this with a 14 year old but you and your family you and your wife it’s a great movie a great thriller.
3 people found this helpful
SazReviewed in the United States on June 1, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
Hugely underrated, dare I say...classic film?
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I saw this in a theater with a friend (we're both girls), and we weren't expecting much. I think there wasn't much else playing at the time that was of any interest, so we figured that this would be a total cheesefest, but a bit of fun. We both walked out talking about how surprised we were to have thoroughly enjoyed it and how it was an unexpectedly well crafted, keep you guessing type thriller/whodunnit. I'll add to this that at the time we saw this (I was a teenager), I was going through my 'film snob' stage, but still had a blast, despite my best intentions.

Yesterday, my husband and I were looking for something fun to rent, and this popped up in the suggestions area. I proposed it as a possibility, as even though I hadn't seen it since that night in the theater, I recalled it as being an enjoyably taut, well done film. He was a bit reticent, expecting a corny, gratuitous, skin-o-max type flick. As the credits rolled, he also ended up expressing the same reaction as my friend and I, enjoying t just as much as we had during our initial viewing. I think in some ways, the 'titillating' aspects were on some level what sold/continue to sell the film, but on others, hurt it a bit b/c people don't expect much in terms of plot or decent writing. Anyway, my point is I would wholeheartedly recommend this film to anyone who either is curious, is in the mood for an excellent, smart thriller or has the impression that my husband or me and my friend initially did - b/c I can almost guarantee you will be proven wrong, like we all were. It's a whole lot of fun, a bit camp, and as a 'whodunnit', surprisingly successful and sharp.

Also, after two viewings, I can say that, for me at least, there were no annoying, glaring plot holes to derail enjoyment of the film, which unfortunately happens with far too much frequency in thrillers - particularly in a campier one like this. My husband and I love to try and rip holes in these types of movies when possible, and so often it is. Even in movies that were more 'respected' by the public and critics, and it really can ruin a film viewing experience for us b/c it just lowers the quality and feels sloppy, for lack of a better descriptive. We didn't have much to work with in that aspect with this film, and it was hugely refreshing!

Definitely underrated, dare I say...90's classic? Or even just classic. Period.
25 people found this helpful
joel wingReviewed in the United States on July 25, 2022
2.0 out of 5 stars
Went from cheap exploitation into trying to be a thriller
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This movie is infamous because of Denise Richards’ nude scene. I was wondering if the movie was actually about something. It turns out to be trash that tries to turn into a thriller. The first half is so bad. It’s like an exploitation flick with a car wash scene with two high school girls followed by Richards walking into Matt Dillon’s house dripping wet. The only redeeming quality is Bill Murray being Dillon’s lawyer. He had some great scenes especially in court while Richards had her moments talking about how spoiled she was. These helped make up for the garbage plot. Then it tries to get all serious in the second half!
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