Watching this film was something of a transcendental, magical experience for me, as normally if you're watching a bad film on TV, DVD or specifically Netflix, if you don't like it, you can just turn it off and eat some cheese, for instance. However, watching this Netflix exclusive that looked promising on paper (I didn't watch any trailers) so I thought I'd give it a go, and what was there was so terrible I had to keep watching it just to absorb the awfulness of it.
For starters, this film is basically the latest in a long line of Fatal Attraction knock-offs, and sweet hell I'm sick of this being a thing; Fatal Attraction wasn't a classic purely from its plot, but from its filmmaking, writing, score, and containing one of the most cerebral villains in Glenn Close's Alex. Every copy of this thinks that by having the "dude has an affair, woman's insane, tries to have the dude for herself at all costs" forgets one basic thing - MAKE IT ****ING GOOD! And so does this.
Biggest offset here for why this film is terrible, is that the setting doesn't mesh with this plot: these are 17 year old high school kids, doing basic stuff like shop and surf and hardly ever work, not adults with actual stuff to lose for instance. It demeans the plot, and makes it feel like a tween film trying to pose as an adult film. And this is shown through all of the characters, and I can only think of one likable one, but I'll talk about her in a second.
The main character, Tyler, is without a doubt, one of the most unlikable lead characters I've ever seen. This is a guy who both talks and acts like a vacuous douche, and in his lowest moment, at the very beginning of the film, paints himself with no positive traits: this guy, who's been going out his girlfriend, Allison, for about 3 months without having slept with her, meets someone from her past, who talks about how "no-one sucked it like her", and he IMMEDIATELY breaks up with her without defending her in any way, and then goes and sleeps with this random girl Holly, but not once - for an ENTIRE WEEKEND, repeatedly, in a damn montage. I'm sorry, but these don't make for a good Protagonist, especially given by the end he's learned nothing, except "don't sleep with crazy people".
It also doesn't help that this cast is made up of Vine stars, previously glorified cameo parts, and Bella Thorne who is the most notable actress, and in the role as the film villain Holly/Elizabeth. Let's talk about this character: I, ironically, don't get her. She wants someone to love her, so she will hurt anyone who gets between her and any boy she fancies, was send to a mental facility but is still able to go to school with everyone else and...like I said, the age and setting doesn't help this because the mental illness angle, which would offer genuine fear, is totally untapped. She's also as subtle as plane crash in a car park. And the only reason no-one buys her bs is because almost everyone in this film is a moron. She claims pregnancy by Tyler, despite the very obvious lack of physical changes over the period that this film goes on for, gets Tyler excluded from assault on a simple accusation, and also manages to go by Holly to EVERYONE in school except the teachers who call her Elizabeth. How did no-one notice this?? They're in classes together - the teachers take a verbal register! The one character who is likable is Lydia, played by Anna Akana, who Holly almost kills by causing her an anaphylactic shock. She is the ONLY one that puts two-and-two together, and that's the only reason she's likable: she's not an idiot.
Now, the film's ending, if I have enough space to talk about it, takes the self-grandious, pompous, "love conquers all" message to whole new levels. Also with a really fair few dumb moments, that I'll list:
- Holly creates a noose, to hang Allison supposedly. The next scene, we see she's tied Allison to a chair, and put the chair dangling in the air. Whilst I doubt a very skinny girl could put weight that high, I'm more interested in why if she wanted her dead, why not just hang her?
- In a final chase, Holly shoots Tyler through the shoulder, and then while distracted, Allison stabs her through the side with a fire poker. She survives this. She survives being stabbed through the abdomen by a curled metal tool with a hook on it.
- After she survives this, she starts hitting on the random paramedic who takes her to hospital, implying a repeat of the cycle. I refer to my "I don't get her" statements for this.
- Tyler gives this voice-over about how close he came to death that night, and how now, in the end, love conquers all. Neither are true; he was shot in the shoulder, that doesn't kill you, it just hurts, and love never conquered all, for you, because this all happened because you threw "love" away. Also, in the end it seems everyone forgets about what happened. I don't know about you, but I'd find that s**t pretty hard to forget to be honest.
In short, ***K this movie! Watch Fatal Attraction instead. Much better, and actually delivers on its thrills.