More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 28.57%
Pretty Bad: 33.33%
Total Crap: 0%

3 reviews, 3 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Luxor by Peter Sobczynski

Wander by Peter Sobczynski

Love, Weddings & Other Disasters by Peter Sobczynski

Black Bear by Peter Sobczynski

Poison Rose, The by Jack Sommersby

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom by Jay Seaver

Fat Man and Little Boy by Jack Sommersby

Harry & Son by Jack Sommersby

Shattered by Jack Sommersby

Deathstalker II by Jack Sommersby

subscribe to this feed

Alarmist, The
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Chris Parry

"Arquette's rule, but Dave needs some range or he's a 90's Corey."
3 stars

What the heck is it with David Arquette? It looks like he's about to twitch so hard his eyes are gonna pop out of their sockets. It's like he has a turd poking through and doesn't want anyone to know about it.

Sorry to be brash, but seriously, I kept finding myself tilting my head and looking at him in "amused dog" mode during The Alarmist. It was baffling.

So, okay, the movie. The Alarmist. Arquette is a decent guy who sells alarm systems to suburban folks. He's pretty good at it because, well, he's a dork and people take pity on him.

His boss (Stanley Tucci) loves his work. A little too much. In the name of fostering new business by kicking in the doors of newly alarmed homes and setting them off (the neighbors all order systems as a result), the boss goes further than Arquette's character is prepared to go along with.

Meanwhile, a single mom customer (Kate Capshaw) that Arquette has fallen in love with, is murdered (along with her son, who is played extremely damn well by Ryan Reynolds) and Arquette assumes the crime has been committed by his break-in happy boss.

This is an enigmatic little flick with flashes of brilliance. It's characters are WAY human, even overly human. But my biggest gripe about it is Arquette. He's trying so hard to make his character real that he comes out with an annoying, facially ticking, squinting dumbass that you can't work out at all. And this isn't the first time he's done this type of guy. In fact, he's never done anything but.

It killed for me, what should have been a dark social commentary on paranoia and suburban fear.

Tucci is awesome, but he's been indie king for the last year now so you expect that. Capshaw is fine, Ryan Reynolds is hilarious and Mary McCormack ain't no foo'.

This production looks a little underdone to me. It has some fine points, but it has some reeeal slow points. Take Arquette out of the fray and you have a decent enough movie. With Arquette it's a stretch. Do it in the dollar theatre for sure. Video? Okay. Cineplex for seven bucks? I want to say yes, but I can't. Just not dark enough, just not good enough. Sorry Courteney.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 11/07/98 02:54:08
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

10/24/02 Charles Tatum Artsy fartsy "comedy" 2 stars
11/25/98 Bad Kosh Needs more effort. 3 stars
10/17/98 Mr Showbiz too talky and self-consciously quirky to be the sharp satire on modern paranoia 3 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  16-Oct-1998 (R)
  DVD: 02-Feb-1999

  10-Sep-1999 (15)

  13-May-1999 (M)

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast