A sixth case for the spiciest salt-and-pepper duo in the genre: Portland homicide detective Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell, the homicidal psychologist who’s unsurprisingly escaped from a psychiatric hospital.
Say what you will about mobster Jack Reynolds: The man knows how to throw a pre-Halloween party. The food and drink are endless; the attendees include 500 masked guests; security has been outsourced to a cadre of military contractors. Not only is Archie reluctantly in attendance, but the host, unaware that his son Leo is secretly working undercover for the DEA, virtually kidnaps Leo’s girlfriend, reporter Susan Ward, and has her driven to his private island for the party and coiffed and costumed by a helpful stripper when she arrives. The morning after the festivities, Archie wakes up in the mud with a blond hair in his mouth, and an uninvited guest, coed Lisa Watson, is found slashed to death. Both disruptions strongly suggest the presence of Gretchen among the masked revelers, even though Archie assures Susan that “it’s been fourteen months since she killed recreationally.” And Gretchen remains offstage for most of this installment—allowing Archie free rein to celebrate his birthday in handcuffs as his downstairs neighbor Rachel entertains him with a lap dance—until Archie’s lover/nemesis/torturer turns up at the eleventh hour to end some lives, save others and complain, “Do I have to do everything myself?” The murder and its solution take a back seat to the continuing saga of Archie’s affair with the sociopath for whom his heart burns, all but literally.
Considerably less intense than Kill You Twice (2012) and its predecessors. Perverse and kinky things still happen, but there’s quite a bit of downtime in between.