Diabolique (1996) - Rotten Tomatoes


Diabolique (1996)



Critic Consensus: This seedy remake of a classic French chiller goes through the motions in recreating the original's diabolical plot, but without the genuine suspense or stylistic finesse.

Diabolique Photos

Movie Info

A remake of Clouzot's classic thriller Les Diaboliques, this American version follows the same basic plotlines for the bulk of the film but then towards the end branches out in new directions that for those familiar with the original 1955 film may find ineffective and disappointing (some purists may find the whole film a blasphemous travesty). Set in a remote, decaying boarding school run by the brutish, controlling Guy Baran. His wife Mia actually owns the school, but her husband runs it. Knowing that she has a fragile heart and could die soon, Guy does all he can to keep her upset. This includes openly having an affair with teacher Nicole Horner, whom he also abuses. One day both women decide that they have had enough and hatch a devious plot to murder Guy. This is where the notorious bathtub scene comes into play though most agree that Clouzot did it much better than this film's director Jeremiah Chechik. Afterward, the women take Guy's body to the school's murky outdoor swimming pool and toss it in, hoping that anyone finding him will think he accidentally drowned. Eventually the pool is drained, but no body turns up, leaving the women to wonder, did he really die, or did someone else know about their crime?

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Sharon Stone
as Nicole Horner
Isabelle Adjani
as Mia Baran
Kathy Bates
as Shirley Vogel
Spalding Gray
as Simon Veatch
Shirley Knight
as Edie Danziger
Allen Garfield
as Leo Katzman
Adam Hann-Byrd
as Erik Pretzer
Donal Logue
as Video Photographer
J.J. Abrams
as Video Photographer
Diana Bellamy
as Ms. Vawze
Clea Lewis
as Lisa Campos
O'Neal Compton
as Irv Danziger
Stephen Liska
as PHP Officer
Jim Kisicki
as Rear-Ender
Kevin Vinay
as Desantis
James Kisicki
as Rear-ender
Kate Young
as Photo Shop Clerk
Hank Stohl
as Morgue Cop
Jesse Sky Ross
as Hall Monitor
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Critic Reviews for Diabolique

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (8)

The husband is still a brute, and the swimming pool is still moldy, but the new Diabolique fails to translate into anything more than the latest ham-handed Hollywood makeover of a European classic.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 2/4
Top Critic

Film lovers should study the two Diaboliques side by side, in order to see how the Hollywood assembly line trashed its treasure from the past.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

The plot and premise of Diabolique are absurdly implausible, but that's the power of good movies: they make you believe in the impossible.

June 19, 2019 | Full Review…

There are problems with Stone's performance, which lacks the requisite ambiguity to make sense of the plot. But Adjani carries Diabolique by creating a Mia who is susceptible to any hint that the dead man may somehow have risen

May 2, 2018 | Full Review…

The new Diabolique mostly dispenses with subtlety, contenting itself with regularly scheduled cathartic jolts that pass for suspense in our degraded culture.

July 30, 2007 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

If it makes at least one person search out and discover the original version, then it's all worth it.

April 3, 2005 | Rating: 2/5

Audience Reviews for Diabolique


I saw this one in the middle of the night. I'm not a fan of sharon stone...but it was pretty good...still not a fan of sharon stone dough

Martin Sahlin
Martin Sahlin

Super Reviewer

Sharon Stone's delightfully slinky outfits are the only genuine attraction in this updated so-called thriller, which pairs her with Isabelle Adjani as the mistress and wife who decide to murder abusive school headmaster Chazz Palminiteri. What was fresh and genuinely frightening in French director Henri-Georges Clouzot's original is old hat here.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer


One of those movies that I liked very much when I was a kid. Sharon Stone was awesome in this movie!

Ginny  X
Ginny  X

Super Reviewer

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