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May 13, 1996

TWISTED DESIRE (NBC) 9 tonight

Joan Van Tassel
The Hollywood Reporter

Flawless casting, superb acting, and exceptional music make this ''bad-seed'' melodrama a cut above most examples of the genre.

Carey and Chad Hayes penned a script that details a fascinating, step-by-step power struggle between control-obsessed parents and a self-obsessed teen-ager that ends in murder.

The film offers some insight into parricide, a topic of interest following the high-profile Menendez case.

Director Craig Baxley evokes fine performances from a sparkling cast.

Melissa Joan Hart plays wonderfully against type as a sweet-faced teen-ager with hot pants, an iron will, and a knack for setting up someone else to pull the trigger and take the blame.

Daniel Baldwin and Isabella Hoffman are excellent as the parents, handsome, rich, and assured in their entitlement and invulnerability.

Jeremy Jordan is convincing and appealing as the manipulated sap, a surprisingly honest loser who reluctantly kills for love.

The supporting players are all good.

Meadow Sisto and David Lascher stand out, as do Kurt Fuller and Eric Laneuville as the detectives assigned to the case.

The production values are polished.

Director of photography Joao R.

Fernandes and editor Sonny Baskin deliver a powerful, suspenseful, and tightly wrapped film. Gary Chang's score is a marvelous creative accomplishment, thoroughly modern and endlessly variable.

The music is a separate and deeply satisfying pleasure.

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