This 2021 thriller is currently streaming on Netflix if you have a strong stomach and an appreciation for subtle stunt work. This one was a real doozy. I enjoyed it thoroughly. nTh film opens with a very slow build. Megan Fox plays Emma Webster, a deeply unhappy wife shackled to a wealthy and powerful attorney Mark played by Eoin Mackey, He is deeply controlling and kind of a scum bag. He really sucks, but it is hard to get on Emma’s side as she is an emotionless robot worn down by the endless years of marriage to this awful dude. She is having an affair with Tom, played by Aml Ameen, but has decided to break it off. It’s her anniversary, and Mark brings her to their lake house for a special night together.
I don’t want to spoil the shock, but I have to say that Emma wakes up to find herself handcuffed to her husband’s corpse. She finds the lake house empty of tools and the phone lines down. She also discovers that a psychotic criminal from her past is one his way to wreak his horrible revenge. Emma has to contend with the frigid winter outside, her husband’s body and the murderers on their way.
What I loved about this movie is how smart it is. Emma is a clever protagonist who comes alive with each passing moment. She has lived under Mark’s thumb for years, but now that she’s literally chained to him she comes alive. She handles this situation in the smartest way possible, and the movie gives us all the information beforehand, so it never feels cheap. A good example is when Emma is cornered. How does she get out of the stairwell without the killers spotting her? She sets off the car alarm. How does she set off the car alarm? Because we saw her pick up the keys earlier. It’s great set up and payoff throughout the movie. If you get frustrated with horror movies in which you yell at the characters to do “A” or “B”, this film is for you. Every time I told Emma to do something, she either did it, or did something smarter. It was a breath of fresh air. I really had fun with the cat and mouse games that went on in this movie.
I enjoyed all the performers and how they seemed to exist beyond the edges of the frame. Megan Fox especially does a good job. She goes from the emotionless shell of a woman to a fully realize woman fighting for her life. Eoin Macken is pitch perfect as the charming dirt bag who has held Emma back for so many years. I also really liked Callan Mulvey as the killer who brings menace to every scene.
I also loved the subtle stunt work that was on display here. It’s not the kind of stunt work that gets noticed or celebrated, but it is really good work. Emma tries to get downstairs while chained to her husband’s corpse. The two end up falling down the stairs together. Stair work is always tough on stunt people. It’s dangerous work, and the fact that one of them has to pretend to be a dead body is extra impressive. It was fun to notice that the dead body was a real actor and stunt performer who had to perform all these physical actions while remaining limp and lifeless. It’s great work.
Overall, I had a great time with this movie. It’s a grisly, but rewarding thriller. It’s tense and frightening. It’s smart and rewarding. It’s a well make film that’s definitely worth checking out on Netflix. It’s my cup of tea. A-