Netflix's latest original film came off as predictable and trite.
Netflix's track record with thrillers have been mediocre, at best, so I was hesitant to check out Netflix's newest wanna-be thriller, Secret Obsession, but from the trailer, it looked like a decent movie. The film stars Brenda Song, Mike Vogel, and Dennis Haysbert as the lead roles and the glue of the flick. Some viewers were so frightened after watching the film that they couldn't sleep, however, I didn't have that same experience.
Secret Obsession contained the typical elements of a scary movie, such as suspense, major plot twist, and strong lead characters – elements that scary movie viewers hope for. However, the movie ended up being predictable, ruining any element of surprise.
If you plan to watch this film, do not watch the trailer first because it gives away the major plot points.
Nevertheless, here's the trailer:
Courtesy of Netflix
**Warning** Spoilers Ahead
What I Didn't Like
The film felt jagged and forced at times. The movie began with a climax scene, intended to bring the element of suspense on the forefront, showing Jennifer attempting to escape from her stalker and the man who is holding her hostage. I felt that the early reveal gave away the surprise factor of "who done it." I had an inkling all along that Russell was not who he said he was and was indeed the bad guy.
However, I can see how this could be an uplifting point to the film – Some viewers may see how this adds to the suspense of the whole scenario. During her escape, Jennifer was pummeled by a car, leaving her with a case of amnesia and a short period of time for Russell to try and convince her that he was her husband. The big reveal at the beginning of the film would leave viewers with a constant creepy feeling knowing that Jennifer was not in the hands of her husband.
Viewers were left feeling anxious and nervous throughout the entirety of the film, which is an emotion you want to experience during a scary movie. On the other hand, some fans would see this as the film's downfall because the villain was revealed too early on.
I was like this:
Courtesy of Giphy
Overall, Mike Vogel's character and the entire film itself were very predictable. I was easily able to predict that he would tie her to the bed, lock her in her room, or any other move he was about to make. Russell had a matter of a day or two to put everything together in order to attempt to convince her and everyone else that he was her husband. His attempt was sloppy because he constantly left clues out in the open for her to figure out his secret and was only able to hold in the nice guy act for about a day.
The back story of Detective Frank Page was left wide open. We were given a short glimpse into his past, which was very interesting, and then they never really touched base on the situation. We simply see him coming to terms with the fact that his daughter is no longer alive but we never saw how.
What I Did Like
Above all, the acting was strong, especially from Brenda Song, because I could feel Jennifer's fright when she realized she was being held hostage. I was left jumping in my seat hoping that she would be able to escape from her prison!
Mike Vogel's played the "good guy" role a little too well at the beginning of the film but was also able to flip the switch within a matter of seconds. He spent his entire time with Jennifer attempting to have her fall in love with him but was, in the end, unsuccessful. But he was undoubtedly creepy!
Just look at him:
Courtesy of C103
Towards the beginning of the film, I genuinely began to believe that Jennifer and Russell were actually husband and wife and (somewhat) good together. I was tricked into believing that they had actually been in love until the moment that Russell's true identity was revealed.
Overall, the film was a decent story but could have used some improvements. If I had been able to avoid watching the trailer before I saw the flick, I would be awarding the film a higher rating. However, I have to give the film 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Did you watch this film? Did you watch the trailer before you watched the movie? What did you think? Tell us in the comments.