Pudgy film critic Mitch Berger, a New York City Jew, and his unlikely love Desiree Mitry, a black cop with a sensational tush who’s now contentedly directing traffic outside Center School in tony Dorset, Connecticut, discover that life and love in the ’burbs can be every bit as calamitous as in the big city. Which one of eccentric, world-renowned sculptor Hangtown Frye’s daughters died in a car explosion—Moose, the local schoolmarm, or Takai, the “serial destroyer of men”? Poor Moose turns out to be dead, but Takai insists she was meant to be the target. And she’s probably right, since she’s slept with most of the husbands in town and offended most everyone else by her alliance with real-estate developer Bruce Lease, who’s been buying up vast amounts of acreage. Hangtown, of course, won’t sell his holdings, since he’s childishly happy with his wetlands and his home replete with trapdoors and secret passages. Then Colin Falconer, the school superintendent, attempts suicide, and his secretary courts death more successfully by getting murdered. When Desiree’s former partner, the macho, lamebrained Rico, can’t quite figure things out, Mitch is left to respond to a frantic SOS from Takai, a fatal father/daughter confrontation and, sad to say, a truly silly resolution.
Scads of movie references for fans of vintage horror, but the gratingly cute Berger-Desiree by-play and the usual blather about village charm versus modernization make this sequel less appealing than Berger’s sharp debut (The Cold Blue Blood, 2001).