Patricia Highsmith's extremely subtle and eerie novel is given very conventional treatment in this adaptation, which simplifies and shortens the original considerably. The murderous David is now simply a standard movie nut-case, the sort of fellow for whom one couldn't feel much sympathy, whilst the ambiguity of Annabel's feelings for him are straightened out in a predictable sort of way. However, the mad-love situation remains intriguing, and Dean Stockwell gives a performance of great intensity (at least until the last few moments, which require him to over-act most regrettably); the fact that Annabel, as Susan Oliver shrewdly plays her, is a very ordinary, conventional housewife - so that we realise that David never loved her, only his preposterous fantasy of her - is especially disturbing.
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