Picks and Pans Review: The Tie That Binds
This trifling thriller, lacking in surprises or transcendent kinks, ought to do wonders for promoting adoption and foster care. Here, the 6-year-old daughter of a psychopathic pair (Carradine and Hannah) lands in an orphanage after Mom and Dad, surprised by the cops while robbing a home, escape without her. The loving yuppie couple (Spano and Kelly) who plan to adopt the girl (Devin) can only wonder why their new daughter, once she arrives home, hides a knife under her pillow. Soon the kid's real folks resurface, only too eager to whack anyone getting in the way of their snatching back their honeybunch.
First-time director Wesley Strick (who wrote the genuinely scary 1991 remake of Cape Fear) resorts here to such hoary horror film standbys as curtains billowing ominously near open windows. Carradine and Hannah are showily effective as the sick duo, Carradine dancing a maniacal jig before a campfire and Hannah, in a Julia Child Moment, cooking up something she calls steak à la Coke. While sautéing a slab of beef, she douses it with Coca-Cola, advising, "It's gotta be Classic." Can't wait till Mike and the robots have a go at this delicacy on Comedy Central's Mystery Science Theater 3000. (R)