Pacific Heights

Watch Pacific Heights

"They were the perfect couple, buying the perfect house. Until a perfect stranger moved into their lives."
  • R
  • 1990
  • 1 hr 42 min
  • 6.4  (22,115)
  • 55

Pacific Heights is a thrilling 1990 psychological thriller directed by John Schlesinger and stars Melanie Griffith, Matthew Modine, and Michael Keaton. The movie follows the story of a couple, Patty and Drake, who are young and successful, but their happiness is short-lived when they find their perfect San Francisco Victorian home is being subleased by a mysterious tenant.

Carter Hayes (Keaton) is the seemingly charming and educated tenant who moves into the top-floor apartment in the couple's home. He wears expensive suits, drives a fancy car, and appears to have all the possessions and social graces to believably be a wealthy and successful tenant. However, it soon becomes clear that Carter is not who he seems. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that he has no intention of paying rent or leaving, and when he begins to destroy the apartment, Patty and Drake's world begins to crumble.

As the tension builds, the couple tries desperately to evict Carter, but his knowledge of tenancy laws and his ability to manipulate the system makes it almost impossible for them to get him out. Carter becomes increasingly violent, manipulative, and sociopathic, leading to the couple losing everything they own.

The movie is filled with suspense and mind games, as Carter's true identity slowly reveals itself to both the couple and to the audience. He turns out to be a master manipulator who uses every trick in the book to stay in the apartment and screw over the couple. Whether he's calling in endless service requests or framing the couple for various crimes, Carter always seems to be one step ahead and fully aware of their every move.

One of the most compelling aspects of the movie is the way it tackles themes of trust, privacy, and security. The couple have done everything right; they’ve invested time, money, and resources into creating a safe and secure home, and yet they’re still powerless against an intruder who can cleverly navigate the loopholes in the legal system. It's a sobering reminder that no amount of planning or preparation can ever fully protect us from danger.

Griffith and Modine give impressive performances as the couple who have to fight for their lives while battling the injustice of the legal system. However, it is Michael Keaton's show-stopping performance that really steals the movie. He gives a terrifying and unsettling portrayal of a sociopath who is both charismatic and manipulative. He embodies a villain that is both human and monstrous, making him all the more terrifying.

The movie offers a unique perspective on the home invasion genre by presenting a character who is not there to steal or kidnap, but to psychologically manipulate and torment. It's a unique concept that is rarely seen in Hollywood movies, and Pacific Heights pulls it off with skill and style.

The movie also provides an interesting social commentary on the issue of gentrification. The couple's neighborhood is up-and-coming, and the arrival of Carter parallels the displacement and gentrification that is happening in the area. It raises questions about how far people will go to secure their ideal living situation and the toll it takes on those who are caught in the crossfire.

Overall, Pacific Heights is an intense and gripping movie that will leave you on the edge of your seat. It's a unique take on the home invasion genre that offers a compelling commentary on issues of trust, privacy, and gentrification. The performances of Griffith, Modine, and Keaton are all excellent, but it is Michael Keaton's turn as the sociopathic villain that truly steals the show. It's a must-watch for fans of psychological thrillers and anyone who enjoys a tense and suspenseful movie.

Pacific Heights is a 1990 thriller with a runtime of 1 hour and 42 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4 and a MetaScore of 55.

Pacific Heights
Where to Watch Pacific Heights
Pacific Heights is available to watch free on Peacock, Plex, The Roku Channel Free, Tubi TV, Vudu Free and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Hulu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, Starz, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Pacific Heights for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 42 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (22,115)
  • Metascore