Heavenly Creatures

October 14th, 1994


Heavenly Creatures

No valid json found

Still of Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey in Heavenly CreaturesStill of Kate Winslet, Melanie Lynskey and Sarah Peirse in Heavenly CreaturesStill of Peter Jackson in Heavenly CreaturesStill of Kate Winslet in Heavenly Creatures

Two girls have an intense fantasy life; their parents, concerned the fantasy is too intense, separate them, and the girls take revenge.

Release Year: 1994

Rating: 7.5/10 (31,808 voted)

Director: Peter Jackson

Stars: Melanie Lynskey, Kate Winslet, Sarah Peirse

Based on the true story of Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker, two close friends who share a love of fantasy and literature, who conspire to kill Pauline's mother when she tries to end the girls' intense and obsessive relationship.

Writers: Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson

Melanie Lynskey - Pauline Parker
Kate Winslet - Juliet Hulme
Sarah Peirse - Honora Parker Rieper
Diana Kent - Hilda Hulme
Clive Merrison - Dr. Henry Hulme
Simon O'Connor - Herbert Rieper
Jed Brophy - John / Nicholas
Peter Elliott - Bill Perry
Gilbert Goldie - Dr. Bennett
Geoffrey Heath - Rev. Norris
Kirsti Ferry - Wendy
Ben Skjellerup - Jonathan Hulme
Darien Takle - Miss Stewart
Elizabeth Moody - Miss Waller
Liz Mullane - Mrs. Collins

Taglines: The true story of a crime that shocked a nation.

Release Date: 14 October 1994

Filming Locations: Canterbury, New Zealand

Box Office Details

Budget: $5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $31,592 (USA) (November 1994)

Gross: $3,049,135 (USA)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | USA: (uncut version)

Did You Know?

Co-writer Fran Walsh suggested the idea of making the Parker-Hulme murder into a film to director Peter Jackson. Walsh said she had a fascination with the murder since childhood.

Revealing mistakes: Honora is hanging sheets on the line (or unpegging them) which still have clear fold marks from the packets they were sold in.

[first lines]
[Director Peter Jackson opens with the scene that should, logically, end the film: that is, the moments immediately following the murder. The girls Juliet and Pauline run screaming up the hill-path to the tea-house, sobbing and covered in blood. The scene is intercut with b&w visions of the two running across a ship deck to meet Dr. and Mrs. Hulme, whom they both refer to as their mother, as the first three exclamations of "Mummy!" demonstrate]
Juliet Hulme: Mummy!
Pauline Parker: Mummy!
Juliet Hulme: Mummmmy!
[the scene changes from the ship to the hilltop tea-house. The girls are screaming hysterically as the tea-house woman runs out to see what the noise is all about]

User Review

Not just for teens, this is...well...awesome...

Rating: 10/10

I understand why teenage girls would like this movie--the thrilling rush of new found deep friendship tied together with nascent sexuality and all that comes with it...the defying of the confines of the world around them...the incredible power of unfettered creativity and self-delusional belief...

What's amazing is that a jaded thirty-something man like myself would consider it to be his favorite film of all time. Peter Jackson shows a deftness in handling interpersonal characterizations and blending in amazing special effects in a way that seems so natural...so fluid...that you while you're awed by what you see, you're not so aware of the process that you're distracted. The oh-so-1993 effect of "morphing" is used better here than any other film (save, perhaps, Terminator 2--but in that movie, the morphing WAS the film...when here, it is merely one element.)

The direction is exemplary. The cinematography is awe inspiring. The script is sharp. The acting...down the line...is superb. Melanie Lynskey delivers a brave performance--giddy, childish, frightening, sexual, clouded... She's everything Christina Ricci pretends to be. Kate Winslet--hyper-bright and wonderful...her performance here reminds you that her "Titanic" performance was "sunk" (sorry!) by the extremely poor dialogue she was given. Her character's overly cheerful demeanor is a mask that covers her disappointment in her parents--but it's extended so far that it no longer seems like a mask...it seems to be a force of nature that drags Lynskey's Pauline along for a dangerous ride...a ride that Winslet's Juliet is in no position to control. There are crisp performances from all of the supporting cast as well.

Jackson should be listed with Gilliam and even Lynch when it comes to directors who can achieve a glorious, if dark, vision. The fact that Jackson's movies (save for "Meet the Feebles") are mainstream accessible--in ways that Lynch, especially, could barely consider (although "The Frighteners" was painfully overlooked by the US market)--makes me wish that he'd try his hand at more mainstream material.

Imagine what a Peter Jackson "Titanic" would have been like...and compare that to what a James Cameron "Heavenly Creatures" would have been like and you get my point.


Comments are closed.