Film / Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy is a 1992 thriller directed by Katt Shea and starring Drew Barrymore.

Sylvie Cooper (Sara Gilbert) attends a private school in Los Angeles. She doesn't have many friends until she meets Ivy (Barrymore), a student attending the school on a scholarship. She quickly becomes close friends with Ivy and lets Ivy live in her house. However, Sylvie's friendship isn't enough for Ivy; she wants so much more. And whatever Ivy wants, Ivy gets.

Nominated for two film festival awards, this movie was followed by three sequels (two direct to video and one made for television) that were In-Name-Only. The second film starred Alyssa Milano (Who's the Boss?, Charmed), while the third starred Jaime Pressly (My Name Is Earl).

For the Batman villain of the same name, see this page.

This film provides examples of:

  • Big Bad: Ivy, most definitely. Almost every single bad thing that happens is her fault and intentionally.
  • Cleavage Window: Actually serves a plot point - because of Ivy's exposed skin, we can see the bruise where she hit the steering wheel, proving she was driving.
  • Disney Dog Fight: Between Sylvie and Ivy. Ivy wins by having trained the dog to respond to a food cue.
  • Dramatic Necklace Removal: a climactic scene involves Ivy half dangling off a building, struggling with the protagonist, when her eye is caught by the meaningful necklace the protagonist is wearing and she makes a grab for it. For one of them, it's a good thing that chain wasn't very strong. For the other one, well, *splat*.
  • Frame-Up: After crashing the sports car, Ivy switches positions with Sylvie and dabs her blood on the steering wheel to make it look like she was driving.
  • Freudian Excuse: Ivy is desperate for the family and love she never had
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Ivy serves this role to Sylvie, representing the 'wild bad girl' that she wishes she could be.
  • Mercy Kill: Sylvie first meets Ivy when she calmly kills a dog which had been hit by a car to put it out of its misery.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Ivy murders Sylvie's mother so she can have Darryl, Sylvie's father, all to herself.
  • No Name Given: Drew Barrymore's character is never given a name and is referred to as Ivy by Sylvie because of the ivy-covered cross tattoo on her leg.
  • Romantic Rain / Sexy Soaked Shirt: Ivy and Darryl have a prolonged steamy scene on the hood of a car, in the rain.
  • Scholarship Student: Ivy attends an exclusive private school on a scholarship and has to maintain a certain GPA to attend the school.
  • The Vamp: Ivy wants a family, so she decides to murder the heroine's mother and seduce the father in order to achieve her dream.