Heavenly Creatures is based on a sensational murder case that rocked New Zealand in the 1950s.

The drab and introverted life of ninth-grader Pauline Parker (Melanie Lynskey) is transformed when she is befriended by Juliet Hulme (Kate Winslet), a charming, pretty, and highly imaginative girl from England. They share a deep disappointment with reality and together create a "Fourth World" which consists of a mythological kingdom populated by royalty, lovers, and an executioner.

The two sets of parents eventually become very concerned about the girls' obsessive friendship. When they try to separate them, the teenagers come up with a lethal response. Heavenly Creatures reveals how pernicious fantasy can become when it is based on a deep-seated hatred of the world.

Director Peter Jackson pulls out all the stops in his creative portrait of these girls and their otherworldly preoccupations.