D: Curtis Hanson
Interscope/Hollywood (David Madden)
US 1992
110 mins
W: Amanda Silver
DP: Robert Elswit
Ed: John F. Link
Mus: Graeme Revell
Annabella Sciorra (Claire Bartel), Rebecca DeMornay (Peyton Mott), Matt McCoy (Michael Bartel), Ernie Hudson (Solomon), Julianne Moore (Marlene Craven)
The early 90's saw a huge surge in [person]-from-hell films, mostly due to the huge success of Fatal Attraction (qv) amongst others.
The Hand That Rocks The Cradle is the nanny-from-hell contribution to the sub-genre, and is mostly an improvement on many of its cousins due to an intensely creepy performance from Rebecca DeMornay, a seemingly perfect au pair for a picket fence family, secretly harbouring a dark past and intending to tear the family apart.
The film becomes rather formulaic and clichéd in the final third, but still remains an entertaining thriller, though perhaps it could have been a lot more powerful if the truth and mystery surrounding DeMornay's character was left towards the end as a plot reveal rather than given away in the first act.

Rebecca DeMornay in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle
Rebecca DeMornay in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle