starring Megan Maczko, Edward Akrout, Matt Barber, Sadie Frost
screenplay by Mark Rogers
directed by Ate de Jong
by Alice Stoehr "You cannot fight," explains the villain to his rope-bound prisoner. "Your only chance of survival comes from compliance." This lecture is the starting point for Deadly Virtues: Love.Honour.Obey. [sic], an erotic cat-and-mouse thriller that takes place over a long weekend in a suburban English home. Said villain is Aaron, an intruder played by handsome French actor Edward Akrout. He has a sparse moustache and a head of unkempt hair, locks of which fall dashingly across his forehead. The camera adores him. Megan Maczko, playing Aaron's prisoner Alison, receives far less flattering treatment. She spends much of her screentime tied up and in some degree of undress, her face contorted with faint disgust, eyes averting her captor's gaze. Like Akrout, she has to look hot, but hers must be a hotness coloured by mixed emotions and performed under duress. As her co-star murmurs the lion's share of the dialogue, Maczko needs to indicate reluctant arousal blossoming into full-on emotional liberation. She fails, but so would any actress, because the film's greasy sexual politics set her up to fail. Meanwhile, the third member of the cast--Matt Barber, as Alison's husband Tom--has to squirm in a bathtub and howl as Aaron mutilates Tom. He acquits himself adequately, especially given paltry lines like, "Did you touch my wife?" and, "I can't have anyone else inside you."