Original Title: In The Shadows, Someone's Watching
Release Date:
Cast:  Rick Springfield, Joan Van Ark, Christopher Noth, Daniel J Travanti
Director: Richard Friedman
Categories: Drama
Running Time: 
Original Title:
In the Shadows, Someone's Watching 
Rick's Character Name: Paul Merritt

Synopsis: Something evil and terrifying is happening in the community of Tyler's Grove. Someone unseen is watching and waiting to attack, perhaps to kill. "With Harmful Intent," is a psychological thriller about a family whose lives and happiness are threatened when children in their neighborhood become victims of mysterious accidents - is it coincidence, or is someone out for revenge?

Something evil is terrifying the community of Tyler's Grove -- the town's children keep having mysterious accidents. It takes a shrewd cop and a loving mother to outwit the culprit -- the last person anyone would suspect.

According to US

I finally had the time to sit down this past weekend and really watch this one without any interruptions from any offspring (a miracle in itself) and I must say it made for a thoroughly enjoyable evening. I recruited my brother's girlfriend to watch it with me as I know she is a big Chris Noth fan and she had not heard of this movie before. Which brings me to my first point, which I can't believe no one has addressed yet. Why did "they" change the title of this movie? My copy, taped from NBC from when it first aired titles this movie, "In the Shadows, Someone's Watching." The promo that ran for this movie which I had recorded prior to the airing (am I showing my geekiness here?) the announcer says the same thing..."In the shadows, someone's watching the children of Tyler's Grove. There's a killer amongst them. Emmy winner Joan Van Ark, Daniel J Travanti, Christopher Noth and RICK SPRINGFIELD are seeking out who's watching" (word for word there minus the airdate). That title kind of makes more sense to me. 

The opening scene totally blew away who the "killer" is. My viewmate (henceforth referred to as BGF (bro's girlfriend) to save a bit on typing screeches out, "It's him" meaning she knows it's CN's character. She knew by the voice singing, "She's coming 'round the mountain". So the movie opens with the whackjob looking at all the kids and all you can see are his eyes. Oooh scary. :-)

Cue to "Cinny" (ok, in my taping haste, I cut off the credits, I really wanted to check that out too-what in the heck WAS her name?) and James in the kitchen, she's making him lunch for school. It is mentioned that Mom & dad had an argument last night, dad slept in the studio (BGF looks at me and says, "Boy, what a stretch")-but all parents argue kid, get over it. In the driveway now, Cinny is getting in the car to take James to school. Here comes the nerdy neighbor boy with his overprotective mother all ready for carpool. Out strolls Paul. :-) (disclaimer: since Rick's role is pretty small in this movie, and well-this is a Rick list, most of this review will revolve around the scenes with Rick) Jeans, white shirt- rumpled look all about him. Yum. He tries to apologize about the argument last night, Cinny doesn't want to talk about it, the neighbor heard it, Paul slams Cinny with a "You're so good at playing my mother" line. WooHoo. Talk about bands, recording session...yadda -can't pick up the kid. He'll have to ride the bus. No, he won't ride the bus. Ahh...nevermind. The kid ends up riding the bus. :-) There is "someone watching" from the window across the street. Of course, if I lived across the street from Rick....just kidding :-)

Meanwhile-Cinny at work, she's the worst speech therapist I've ever seen. She has to leave to pick up another neighbor (yet-she can't leave her job to pick up her kid) and the only reason I'm mentioning this non-Rick scene is that I love the line JVA says about Paul. "I love his music - that part of him is what made me fall in love with him" Sigh. She could be saying that about Rick Springfield. 

James is getting off the bus, gets hit by psycho. Cinny JUST HAPPENS to be driving by and sees the ambulance, figures out it's her kid - jumps on board the ambulance. He is unconscious, but then awakens screaming. We rewound the tape at this point, and came to the conclusion he was saying "Thor is for real" although the statement "For hit, For real" came in second. At this point in the movie, it doesn't really make any sense. It will later. In the ER, in 30 seconds-they've determined he's unconscious and needs a CAT Scan. I could have told ya that, and I do not have a medical degree. Now we see Dr Ferris (psycho) fully, looking normal -he's the ER doc. Boy, he must've raced over to the ER....

Next scene is DJT playing a cop who's suspended (for reasons unknown). This is his big chance to get back on the force. The chief is explaining what happened, and that no one assigned to this case can come up with any leads. Flash to psycho now in a dirty, unkempt cabin, searching for something singing that damn song again. 

Back to the Merritt house (Cinny & Paul's) and the nerdy kid neighbor mom is there when Paul walks in. This does not seem strange to Paul, and she tells him she is there to get some things for James, he is in the hospital - to which he races out the door into his fabulous Porsche (love the choice of the car BTW, just an inside joke here for anyone who knows my last name) and off to the hospital. He races into James' room and here's the first "dubbed" line: "My God, our son" That may be Rick's voice, but I'm thinking he said that at a different point in the movie, I dunno. It doesn't sound right here. Anyway -they argue about why he didn't pick the kid up, of course it's all his fault because he didn't pick the kid up...

There's a mentally impaired boy leaving a book at James' pillow while he's sleeping. It's the same book psycho had in his messed up cabin. 

Back to the Merritt house, Cinny crying, Paul sleeping ever so handsomely :-) He awakens to her cries, they talk a bit. He mentions Lydia (nerdy kid's mom) was already there to get some things for James-and Cinny lets this drop!- he then asks her if it's okay to visit James, and she says of course. She's looking at pictures of her family and wondering out loud what happened to that family. He tells her he'd give anything to "have you love me." Uh huh. Major drool scene for any Rick fan :-)

Back to the "someone watching" out the window again. Neighbor across the street. Discussion leads them into house, where a previous victim lives. A girl, Laurel was blinded by a firecracker thrown in her face (wow, no scars-just cataract eyes) and she has the same book! It was left for her when she was in the hospital! Cue shocking music!

Here comes the most unbelievable scene in the whole thing-Cinny is showering <shudder> AT THE HOSPITAL!!! IN JAMES' ROOM!!! No kidding. The kid starts screaming because someone has walked in (not because his mother is showering there), and by the time she gets out-naturally the person is gone, and Cinny is estatic that James is awake. Nevermind that he's hysterical.

Flash to DJT/cop who has determined that the statement is "Thor is for real" -the kid was hit on the head with a hammer, not hit by the car. Dr Ferris is having a dream, his mother is humiliating him, his sister saves him, his real name is Malcom (the author of the book). Cinny finally (!) zaps Lydia on that being in her house thing and she explains she had a key from the previous owners. Okay, whatever.

Paul & Cinny have a meeting with psycho doctor and his boss. Finally, Rick is rid of the white shirt - still has jeans on, but now a green very Rick-like long sleeved shirt. Cinny disses Paul in front of the doctors-and get this-they know she's gonna get chewed out, they offer them the office to use as long as they like on their way out. Paul lays into Cinny (finally this character has backbone) and let me tell you, I don't ever want Rick to point a finger at me that way! 

The tongue lashing must've turned her on, because now we are back at the Merritt house and Cinny is watching Paul in the studio. She comes in, and flings herself on his back-he finally turns and hugs and kisses her. They make up. I love, love, loved when Paul turned her around and put his arms around her. Another "Rick-like" move.
He rested his head on top of her head, and then when they started talking he turned her around again, so her back was to him, and puts his arms all the way around her. Sigh...

Ok, back to the plot. The mentally impaired kid is found hanged in a hospital closet. DJT/the cop finds "the cabin".

Paul & Cinny are in James' hospital room, and Paul is laying on the bed behind James, and we've got dimple city :-) Another beautiful RS moment. He's joking and talking with the kid about pizza. They are moving "back to Boston." 

The cops decide to use James as bait. Cinny doesn't like it one bit. DJT/the cop finds out that Lydia is psycho's sister, still doesn't know exactly who psycho is... 
The evening is stormy, complete with lightening. How appropriate. The hospital/cops have moved James to the very safe and sanitary basement and put a decoy in his hospital room bed. Cinny & DJT/the cop figures out at the same time that Dr Ferris is the psycho, they are both running to save James. Psycho being James' doctor already knows he has been moved, goes to the basement to finish him off - Cinny tries the same jump on his back move she tried with Paul earlier-gets pushed to the floor, in comes the cop with a garbage can (yep, you read that right) and conks him on the head, to which he swats away like a pesky fly. He puts a pillow over James' head, and then gets shot by the chief of police. Cinny jumps up on James' bed, shakes him uncontrollably to which he sits up and coughs, and the everyone is happy.

The last scene finally has JVA out of jeans and in a dress. Don't fret though, because Rick is still wearin' dem jeans pretty darn well. Checking the kid out of the hospital, they get in the car -and another Rick-like move, the finger point with the mouth open-Paul does this to James, and they drive off. Another dub-over, that is so not Rick's voice, although his mouth was moving... wonder what he was really saying. - Michelle P.

True confessions time. I think I remember when this movie first aired. I think it might have been a Monday Night movie on NBC. I remember flipping over to see what was on and I see "Rick Springfield" in the opening credits. I'm thinking "OMG, woo hoo!". Then the movie starts, out walks Rick looking all unkempt, his eyes are kind of blood shot, looks kind of like a drug addict, and my immediate thought was "oh, no, not another one of those characters". I think the last two things I had seen him in were Dead Reckoning and Silent Motive, and I just didn't want to see Rick as another no good character. So I flipped the channel. (am I really admitting this in writing in public?) Now that I've watched the movie, even though his character was kind of wimpy, he wasn't a bad guy. I was just happier remembering Rick from the 80's and Hard to Hold and Nick Knight and just didn't want to have yet another role to fade those memories. And since apparently we weren't going to get any more music out of him (or so I thought at the time), I was just going to be satisfied with old memories.

What's up with the Cowboy boots? Also, noticed that Rick had a different wedding band on than what he wears now (which I seem to remember that he and his wife did get new wedding bands, with the crosses). He's playing with it a little in his opening scene. I actually liked his character better in the first scene than the rest of the movie, at least he didn't seem so whipped, at least not at first. Loved the line: She says, "Stop what, being his mother?". he says: " Don't do that, you're already so good at being mine" But then he's quick to wimp back down and apologize.
When Paul shows up at the hospital, after the accident, he says "My God, our son". That sounded dubbed over to me, like he came back and added that later.
He tells his wife the reason he didn't pick James up was because the home studio had gone crazy and they went into town and finished up. She told him to leave. He didn't have to go, I think he should have stayed. His son was dying in the hospital. Paul is home asleep on the couch, his wife comes home to get some things, they are about 2 minutes into the conversation before he asks "how's James?". Found that a little strange. Then, some of the dialog from Paul: "I wish I could make you believe how sorry I am?" and "I'd do anything to have it all back, to make you love me". Sounds vaguely familiar, kind of like a new song on a dvd we may have just got.

Finally, Rick's character shows some strength when they are in the doctor's office and his wife tells him to stay out of it. I like the way he just looks at her, waiting for the doctors to leave the office, breathing kind of heavy because you can tell he's mad. The he says "Don't you tell me to stay out of it, cause he's my boy, too, and I'm going to stay in this, no matter what....I'm in". And he's got his finger in her face. FINALLY! I think this really turned the wife on, I'm surprised she didn't jump him right there in the office. She does come home later and he's in the home studio, and they are talking about the equipment being damaged, although they really seem to be talking about their relationship at the same time. Nice suck face scene, love the way Joan has her hands in his hair.
I think my favorite scene is where Paul is on the hospital bed with James and they are talking about Pizza. That seems to be the scene where Rick's personality really comes through. Plus that's the scene where I think he looks the best, his face has some color to it and he's not so pale, and he looks rested and healthy, instead of tired and upset. Then, the way Paul looks at his wife at the very end, very nice! The very last line "Ok everybody, we're on our way". I do not believe that is Rick's Voice. You can see the character's mouth moving, even, and that doesn't seem to be what he is saying.
I think it would have been a better movie if the murderer had been more of a mystery. There would have been lots of potential suspects - the smoking next door neighbor, the mentally challenged boy, the undercover police detective, but you kind of knew pretty quick who did it. Also, when Mr London had figured out who the killer was, but couldn't talk because of his stroke, so he carved some initials into the Ouija board......why did he do MDF (for M.D. Ferris as is Dr. Ferris), instead of DRF. DR was two letters and it actually stands for Doctor. I didn't get that. The character of Malcolm Cobb/Dr Ferris was just a little to evil and twisted for my liking. I thought Rick's acting was good, I just wish his character had more of a backbone.- rlh