Disappearance at Clifton Hill (2020) Review

The unreliable main character saves this movie from being a run of the mill crime drama.  By the time you get to the end, you aren’t sure what is true. anymore

Certificate: 15

Director: Albert Shin

Screenwriter: James Schultz, Albert Shin

Starring: Tuppence Middleton, Hannah Gross, Marie-Josée Croze

Genre: Crime, Drama

Runtime: 100 Minutes

Rating: 3 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

When Abby returns to her hometown of Niagara Falls after her mother dies, she becomes obsessed with a fragmented memory from her childhood, a kidnapping she believes she was witness to. She is reunited with her estranged younger sister, Laure, and they attempt to settle their mother’s estate involving the sale of the family motel, but Abby’s compulsive desire to reconcile her past grows increasingly out of control. She becomes obsessed with her troubled past while trying to uncover a crime to which she is convinced she was an accomplice – Written by Toronto International Film Festival

I thought I knew exactly what was going to happen in this film.  Crime Thrillers always follow a certain kind of formula that mean that after you have seen enough of them, you can pretty much dictate what is going to happen from beginning to end.  What this film has that those films don’t though is an unreliable main character played by Tuppence Middleton.  We are told multiple times that she has a history of telling tall tales.  Stories that range from little white lies, right through to life changing, in depth act of deception.  So when towards the end her theories are put to the test, and everyone is telling her she is wrong, we as the audience don’t know who to believe.  And that was a great way to throw some doubt into the story without resorting to the usual tropes.

Without this added element, this would have just been another average thriller, with a bunch of despicable people doing despicable things.  The crime itself is almost put on the back burner in exchange for focussing on Abby and her story, making this a much mor character driven story then most thrillers, so it might not appeal to everyone.  And I like that they kept the very last twist in the tale until the very, very end.  So that even as the credits are rolling, you are still questioning everything that you thought you had com to understand.  Was it a cheap thick? Sure.  Does it really make any sense in the context of the story? Not really.  But it does leave an impression on the audience, I guess.

If Crime Dramas are your thing, ‘Disappearance at Clifton Hill’ is streaming on Netflix now!

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