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Black River

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One of horror author Dean Koontz's more restrained -- and most successful stories -- Black River is a somewhat lighthearted, oddly funny take on the Orwellian dystopia genre of cinema that includes The Stepford Wives, but more importantly here, the fascinating TV series The Prisoner. Like The Prisoner's No. 6, played by Patrick McGoohan, Jay Mohr's Bo Aikens rebels against a system he can't fathom and resists everything that's laid out for him -- even when it's all good, such as the woman of his dreams (Lisa Edelstein), an impossibly gorgeous house, and a job to die for. He believes individual liberty is more important than robotically controlled creature comforts, but he's helpless to escape. Koontz's "what if" McGuffin -- the punch line that explains everything -- is clever without being cheap, convincing without being too far-fetched, particularly for fans of fantasy. Mohr's trademark smirk indicates that none of this should be taken too very seriously, but there's enough suspense to convey danger when needed to create tension. As speculative fiction goes, Black River flows very well. Just hope your car doesn't break down there. Buzz McClain, All Movie Guide

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