What You Need To Know:
Wife abuse is a terrible evil, but women like Laura desperately need the Savior to help them. Even though SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY is a fast-paced, suspense-filled story, it does not edify the viewer with its explicit sex and graphic violence.
(L, VVV, SSS) Few obscenities; explicit sexual relations and adultery; extreme violence; and, cruelty and murder.
The thriller, SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY, involves a sociopathic husband, his terrified wife and her desire to escape from his tyranny.
When Laura married Martin Burney nearly four years earlier, she had no way of knowing the depth of his passion. On the outside, they seem the ideal couple. As a perfect housewife, she serves his every need, from keeping kitchen and bath towels straight to keeping canned goods in order in the cupboard. He is a handsome, successful, attentive investment broker.
Their home on the Cape Cod beach is huge and impeccable. Within the Burney household, however, Laura lives in terror, waiting for an opportunity to escape the nightmare of Martin’s jealousy and sadistic beatings.
One night, following a savage beating, Laura and Martin go sailing with their neighbor, and a storm develops. As Martin and his friend struggle to keep the boat from capsizing, they discover Laura missing. Although her life jacket turns up after an extensive search, the body is not found.
Thus, Martin proceeds with a memorial service for his “princess.” In reality, Laura has made her escape by swimming to shore and after retrieving a cache of belongings, she catches the first bus out of town.
She ends up in the college town of Cedar Falls, Iowa, and endeavors to make a new life. Before long, she finds a new love interest in Ben, the local college drama teacher, and her former name and life are forgotten.
However, Martin finds out about Laura’s escape and hires detectives to find her. Once he locates Laura’s mother in a nursing home, he pries the needed information out of her.
Meanwhile, Laura and Ben enjoy their developing relationship, going to parades and circuses together. He also helps her find a job, even though she lacks the proper credentials. The denouement comes, however, when Martin arrives in town and again, amid much suspense, ends up terrorizing Laura.
Thoreau once said, “Most men live lives of quiet desperation,” and SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY tends to bear out his philosophy. Granted, wife abuse is a terrible evil and one that needs to be exposed, but women like Laura desperately need the Savior, Jesus Christ, to help them. Then, instead of having to run from their problems and live in fear, the Lord would show them what to do. The Lord tells us in Psalm 32: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.”
Even though SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY is a fast-paced, suspense-filled story, it does not edify the viewer with its explicit sex and graphic violence. Hence, MOVIEGUIDE cannot recommend a film that instead of building one up, tears him down.