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Hedra, it is revealed, was a twin, and apparently wants to become one again, if only a twice-orphaned one.

One of the first shots in the movie shows the building where Allison has her apartment.

"Single White Female" has a terrific high concept: It's about a "roommate from hell." Allison, the heroine, played by Bridget Fonda, advertises for a roommate, and after carefully screening out several nut cases and victims of assorted obsessions, ends up with a candidate who looks ideal. She is played by Jennifer Jason Leigh as a sweet-faced, friendly little innocent. I cannot find "hedra" in my unabridged dictionary, and yet somehow the name teases me. One with a rent receipt in one hand and a kitchen knife in the other?

Although the potent climax goes over-board, it's particularly heart-pounding and downright exciting.

No genre is beyond redemption or beneath contempt, and here the slasher genre is given its due with strong performances and direction.

Of course, you may despise movies like this, but that is another subject.

Then along comes a level headed woman who seems to be just right. Formulaic, formulaic yeah it's routine Hollywood psycho-thriller territory, but too visually well made by director Barbet Schroeder and comfortably performed in the shape of Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh to not get something out of it.

The story (adapted off John Lutz's novel "SWF Seeks Same") plays its cards quite early, and goes about the subject in a too convenient manner to make it entirely effective.

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