Masquerade is a psychological thriller which aspires to be a 1980s Hitchcock rejuvenation, and thanks to nice pacing and delicate acting, it largely succeeds for two thirds of a movie. The writers, Larry Brody and Dick Wolf, combine a knack for the clever with an inclination for the soapy, but fine direction by Bob Swaim keeps it together. At times, the film is confidently elegant, almost timeless, set in the idyllic Hamptons on Long Island and shot in a colour palette which almost convinces us of its hitchcockesque affinity. Much of the trick is the combination of raw beauty and talent in the lead roles. Compared to today's over-glossed, photoshopped young stars, it's a delight to see Meg Tilly and Kim Cattrall stripped to the bone (both literally and metaphorically). Tilly revels in her role as the naïve, dreaming Olivia. By her side, a stunningly good-looking Rob Lowe is all right for the part - veiling his performance as the title suggests.
While Masquerade may have resembled something from Hitchcock's hand for an hour or so, the final part is more like somthing out of Dynasty. Whether it was the 1980s disease or just bad judgement, the writers go over the top with plot twists, and we start thinking about logic instead of being seduced by the inital playfulness. The final climax, which is particularly stupid, was arguably the main reason for the many bad reviews this film received, but if you're willing to ignore that, Masquerade is as enjoyable and perceptive as any film in the psy-thriller genre.