Double Exposure

Watch Double Exposure

"A classic portrait in terror!"
  • R
  • 1983
  • 1 hr 34 min
  • 4.9  (830)

Double Exposure is a psychological thriller from 1982 that delves into the tumultuous mind of a conflicted man as he grapples with reality, fantasy, and memory. Directed by William Byron Hillman and starring Michael Callan, Joanna Pettet, and James Stacy, the film is a chilling narrative of obsession, mystery, and the thin line between illusion and actuality.

The protagonist of the story, Adrian Wilde (played by Michael Callan), is a complex character with a pressing concern: he's a professional photographer by day, capturing the gloss and glamor of fashion models, but by night, he's tormented by horrific visions of these same women being brutally murdered. The film is adeptly paced, with the eerie stillness of Adrian's photographs contrasting starkly against the frenetic chaos of his nightmares.

As Adrian tries to maintain a grip on sanity, he confides in his friends and seeks solace in his relationships. Joanna Pettet plays Mindy Jordache, a woman who becomes intimately involved with Adrian. She's supportive and caring, but also duly concerned about Adrian’s psychological well-being. James Stacy's character, B.J. Wilde, is Adrian's brother—an individual who not only shares a familial bond with Adrian but also experiences the impact of Adrian's deteriorating mental state.

The plot thickens when the surreal violence of Adrian's nocturnal visions begins to mirror a string of real-life murders. As model after model falls victim to an unknown assailant, the line between Adrian's twisted fantasies and the cruel reality starts to blur. This overwhelming coincidence tips Adrian into a state of paranoia and self-doubt. He questions his innocence and wonders whether he might somehow be connected to the actual murders.

Exploiting the visual discourse of juxtaposing vibrant fashion shoots with the grim shadow of death, Double Exposure fills the screen with intense colors, stark lighting, and dramatic compositions. The images, which can be both alluring and disturbing, serve up a rich aesthetic that keeps viewers engaged and on edge.

Adrian's photographic expertise is a central theme throughout the movie. As with his camera, Adrian attempts to frame his life and control his environment, only to find that some things cannot be contained within the viewfinder. The camera, often taking the first-person perspective, places viewers into the role of the voyeur, intensifying the sense of intrusion into private and often uncomfortable moments.

Double Exposure is also a narrative about the impact of trauma and the psyche’s defense mechanisms. In Adrian's case, his struggle may or may not be rooted in events from his past, inner turmoil, or a much more tangible and external threat. The movie plays on these elements to sow doubt in the minds of the audience, making it difficult to discern the reliability of the protagonist's perspective.

The title "Double Exposure" itself has a double meaning. In photography, a double exposure is a superimposition of two images, creating an ethereal and ghostly picture, which reflects Adrian’s overlapping spheres of reality and imagination. The other interpretation speaks to the exposure of truths, once hidden beneath the surface, that are gradually revealed as the plot unravels.

As a quintessential product of the early 80s thriller genre, the film offers an exploration of the mind of the main character, taking cues from the slasher and psychological horror genres that were immensely popular during that era. Double Exposure weaves these elements together with a synthesizer-heavy soundtrack that punctuates the tension and drama of the narrative.

The performances, particularly by Michael Callan, are intense enough to convey a sense of authenticity to their characters' experiences. Joanna Pettet and James Stacy both deliver solid supporting roles, aiding the central storyline as they draw viewers deeper into the mystery surrounding Adrian’s increasingly alarming and erratic behavior.

Double Exposure might feel like a slow burn at times, as the movie takes its time to unpack the psychological layers. Yet this deliberate pacing is critical, allowing the audience to immerse themselves in the ambiguity and perplexity of the film’s reality.

Overall, Double Exposure is a film that captures the psychological terror of the unknown and the power of the human mind to shape—and sometimes confuse—our perception of the world around us. It's a story that challenges viewers to question what they see, to seek the truth in layers upon layers of deception and illusion, and to confront the darkness that lies just beneath the surface of the human psyche.

Double Exposure is a 1983 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 34 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 4.9.

Double Exposure
Where to Watch Double Exposure
Double Exposure is available to watch free on Plex, The Roku Channel Free, Tubi TV and Vudu Free. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Double Exposure for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 34 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    4.9  (830)