Bad Influence Poster

Release Date: 1990

DVD Release Date: December 3rd, 2002

R|1 hr 39 min

Plot Summary
Los Angeles marketing analyst Michael Boll (James Spader) struggles with insecurity despite his successes -- until he meets a mysterious man, Alex (Rob Lowe), who promises to help him gain confidence. However, Alex's guidance becomes toxic when he introduces Michael to sex, drugs and crime. When Michael's life begins collapsing, he comes to realize that his mentor is a sociopath. Is it too late, or can Michael escape Alex's sinister web of machinations?

Cast: Rob Lowe, James Spader, Lisa Zane, Christian Clemenson, Kathleen Wilhoite, Tony Maggio, Marcia Cross

Director: Curtis Hanson

Genres: Thriller

Production Co: Epic Productions

Ratings & Reviews

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  • Director Curtis Hanson gives the film a slow, European pace and a cold, slick look. The sound-track is made up almost entirely of internal noises -- a buzzing fluorescent bulb, music from a record player. Everything contributes to an ominous atmosphere. [09 Mar 1990, p.E1]

  • Like many thrillers that begin with an intriguing premise, Bad Influence is more fun in the setup than in the payoff. For at least the first hour, we are not quite sure what game Lowe is playing, and the full horror of his plan is only gradually revealed. show more

  • Overall, this is a tart little toughie - within its limitations. Like 1987's The Bedroom Window, also directed by Curtis Hanson, it admittedly pales next to suspense classics it recalls. Yet on its own terms, it's a hefty cut above the norm. [09 Mar 1990, p.1D]

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com