Ties That Bind

Film review by Thomas M. Sipos




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Ties That Bind  (2006, dir: Terry Ingram; writer: Andy Callahan; cast: Nicole de Boer, Brian Krause, Sonya Salomaa)






This is a typical shot-in-Canada, made-for-cable TV suspense movie. (It was made for Lifetime.) It's low budget, with B-list or unknown actors.

Even so, I found it enjoyable. For while this film's story is mostly typical, it takes some unexpected turns.

The story concerns a typically perfect, yuppie couple. They're attractive, smart, successful, thirtysomething, and in love. Hubby is an intern at a hospital. He doesn't make much money yet, but his future is bright. Wife is a corporate attorney, who pays most of the bills.

Together, this Perfect Couple buys a Perfect House. It even has a pool, hot tub, and guest house.

In order to help pay the mortgage, they rent the guest house to a seemingly nice nurse from the husband's hospital. A nurse who turns out to be the Psycho Bitch From Hell. (Think of the "other woman" from Fatal Attraction, only crazier.)

As a guy, I liked Ties That Bind because, unlike many films of this genre, it doesn't demonize men. The Pyscho Nurse tries to seduce the husband, yet he stays loyal to his wife. (One of those unexpected turns I was talking about.)

The Psycho Nurse also tries to seduce the wife, but she stays true to her husband as well.

The Psycho Nurse does more than try to seduce the couple. She's a whole boatload of crazy, with tons of dark secrets in her past, and she commits lots of nasty and downright evil deeds during the course of the film.

The DVD's cover is misleading. It shows a cold-blooded Nicole de Boer holding a gun, and suggests that she's the film's evil femme fatale. NOT. De Boer plays the Good Wife. She's never cold-blooded in the film, nor is she ever comfortable with a gun.



I guess de Boer is the film's biggest star, so the distributor thought they'd invent a shot of her looking femme fatalish with a gun, but the shot misrepresents the film's contents.

Even so, Ties That Bind is an enjoyable suspense film about a nice couple who are unfortunately saddled with a crazy tenant in their guest house (whom they can't easily get rid of, due to the lease). Yes, there is gunplay, and a whole lot more crazy, nasty stuff before the film's end.

It's not a great film, but it's one of the better made-in-Canada/cable TV suspense films out there.


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