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Throwback Movie Review: 'Hexed' is One of the Worst of 1993

Hexed was released 30 years ago and is the latest movie featured on the Everyone's a Critic Movie Review Podcast 1993 spinoff.

By Sean PatrickPublished 13 days ago 5 min read
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Hexed (1993)

Directed by Alan Taylor

Written by Alan Taylor

Starring Arye Gross, Adrienne Shelly, Claudia Christian

Release Date January 22nd, 1993

Published January 23rd, 2023

Hexed is among the strangest and most disjointed films I've ever seen, and I've seen a lot of movies in my more than 23 years of writing about movies. Hexed stars Arye Gross as a hotel worker who lies constantly and everyone hates him. Everyone except for the one woman that the script requires to tolerate how awful he is. A cruel and unforgiving universe required in 1993 that a brilliant actress, writer and director attempt to do the impossible and try to make Gross seem likable. Sadly, even the prodigious talent of the much loved late Adrienne Shelly can't work such impossible magic.

Matt Welsh (Gross) is such an awful, disgusting, gross human being that when he's bullied by someone ostensibly more obnoxious than him, you kind of feel like he deserves it. That Matt is our designated protagonist is a cruel taunt. The poster for Hexed has promised comedy but the movie we are trapped inside once we've committed ourselves to watching it, is distinctly unfunny and borders on incomprehensible as it ping pongs this ungodly protagonist from one unfunny bit to the next.

The plot, such as it is, has a ubiquitous supermodel known as Hexina (Claudia Christian) coming to stay at the hotel where Matt is one of the desk clerks. This is a problem for Matt as he has claimed to have not only known Hexina, but dated her. When she arrives and doesn't know who he is, Matt is surely to be humiliated and belittled once more. Matt needs to concoct a plan to save himself and he gets one when a man calls to speak to Hexina and Matt intercepts the phone call.

As luck would have it, Hexina is set to meet this man who she has never seen before. Matt figures, if he impersonates the unseen man, he can go on a date with Hexina and everyone at the hotel will think that Matt really does know her. His plan works as he's able to steal a car from a hotel patron and pick up the supermodel in full view of his most bitter detractor, Simon (Michael E. Knight). Meanwhile, as awful as Matt is, Hexina is only worse because she is a crazed murderer.

Hexina has only come to this backwater hotel because someone is blackmailing her. This person wants to trade their blackmail item for sex and Hexina thinks that Matt is this person. After, indeed, having a terrifyingly unfortunate and problematic sex scene with Matt, Hexina tries to kill him. After he explains how he had sex with her under false pretenses, and highly questionable consent, Hexina makes him take her to the man she was intended to meet. Once there, Hexina shoots the man in the head and drafts Matt to be her co-conspirator.

All of this is intended to be funny. Hexed is a comedy. It's a 'dark comedy,' allegedly, but that is no excuse for all of the ugly, nasty, gross, unfunny nonsense that makes up Hexed. Hexed is a bizarre example of just how weird the early 1990s truly were. The early 1990s were bursting with bizarre sexual politics and a fetishistic dedication to presenting the most masturbatory of male fantasies as movie plotlines. That was the case with Body of Evidence, which released one week prior to Hexed, and that is also the case with Hexed.

Poor Claudia Christian should be able sue the makers of Hexed for how bad they made her look in this movie. On top of having her appear in one of the absolute worst sex scenes in film history, her character is edited so poorly, it plays as if the editor held some kind of unspecified grudge against Christian and thus, specifically chose all of her worst takes. I genuinely wondered at times if she knew what she was doing was actually going into the movie. Some of it is so genuinely embarrassing that I felt bad watching it.

The backstory of Hexed, I am told, is that writer-director Andy Taylor had one idea for an absurdist dark comedy and the studio pressured him to add nakedness. The acrimony grew to such a degree that Taylor may or may not have completed the film. At some point, scenes were shot to make Hexed into a Naked Gun style parody of Basic Instinct and occasionally, those style of gags show up in Hexed and land with a thud as they have no place in the finished film.

Maybe that's what you get when you call your movie 'Hexed.' This movie does appear to be cursed. Studio interference, a badly miscast lead, a terrible script, all combine to craft a bizarre and utterly unwatchable movie. Hexed is so bad that I forgot, briefly, just how bad Body of Evidence, the previous 1993 movie I watched, was. Hexed is the latest movie to be featured on the new Everyone's a Critic Movie Review Podcast spinoff, Everyone's a Critic 1993. Myself and my co-hosts, M.J and Amy are chronologically working our way through the movies of 1993. You can find our first two episodes on Leprechaun and Body of Evidence wherever you listen to podcasts.

Find my archive more than 20 years and nearly 2000 movie reviews at SeanattheMovies.blogspot.com. Find my modern review archive on my Vocal Profile, linked here. Follow me on Twitter at PodcastSean. Follow the archive blog on Twitter at SeanattheMovies. Listen to me talk about movies on the Everyone's a Critic Movie Review Podcast. If you've enjoyed what you have read, consider subscribing to my writing here on Vocal. If you'd really like to support my writing you can do so by making a monthly pledge or by leaving a one-time tip. Thanks!

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About the Creator

Sean Patrick

Hello, my name is Sean Patrick He/Him, and I am a film critic and podcast host for Everyone's a Critic Movie Review Podcast. I am a voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the group behind the annual Critics Choice Awards.

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