Dangerous Lies (2020) A Review

A fairly average thriller that is fairly predictable from start to finish.  With fairly average performances and a fairly average plot.  Overall just very average.

Certificate: 12

Director: Michael Scott

Screenwriter: David Golden

Starring: Camila Mendes, Jessie T. Usher, Jamie Chung

Genre: Thriller

Runtime: 96 Minutes

Rating: 2 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

When an elderly man dies, he leaves all of his money and estate to his young caregiver Katie.  But it doesn’t take long for her to be drawn into a world of deception and murder.  She soon finds that she can’t trust anyone around her, not even the people that she loves the most. 

This film tries it’s hardest to be a dark and suspenseful thriller, but it fails at almost every turn.  The plot never really gets interesting or dark enough to hook you in, meaning you spend the entire hour and half runtime just sort of mildly interested, but not really caring all that much.  A shame, because there was a good premise buried under here somewhere, but I think it needed to go darker and be less…teen friendly in order to hit the note that it was clearly going for.

It’s 12 rating and choice of ‘Riverdale’ star Camila Mendes implies that while they were writing a thriller, they were angling for an older teenage audience.  And that is painfully obvious by it’s dumbed down screenplay, and it’s general lack of an real feel of peril for our characters.  Call me old fashioned, but I like my thrillers to be a bit more…thrilling than this.

The actors do their best with the material that they were given, but no amount of acting talent could make up for the lack lustre screenplay.  The whole cast is made up of mid-range actors, a few of which will be familiar faces to those who watch a lot of prime-time TV, and those in supporting roles, where handed even less to work with.  They have no real development, and no real backstory, they just exist to create threatening background stories.  But again, there lacks any real threat in the film at all.

For its relatively short run time, the film does seem to drag on a bit, it suffers from bad pacing.  For a thriller, it takes a really long time for any thing even approaching threatening to begin to happen.  And it telegraphs its surprises very clearly the whole way through.

Overall, very disappointing, could have been a lot better if the screenplay had been better.  I would recommend skipping this one, but if you want to watch it for yourself, it is streaming now on Netflix UK.


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