GORE IN THE STORE
THE LIE ***
Directed by Veena Sud.
Starring Joey King, Peter Sarsgaard, Mireille Enos.
Thriller, US, 97 minutes, certificate 15.
Available on Amazon Prime from 6th October
Subscribers to Amazon Prime and fans of the Halloween season are in luck this year. Blumhouse has decided to release four exclusive movies on the streaming service for October starting with the chilly thriller THE LIE, which takes a look at the lengths a mother and father will take to protect their possibly murderous daughter. A remake of the German 2015 film WIR MONSTER, director Veena Sud adapts this tale of parental responsibility and guilt.
Mother and father Rebecca and Jay have separated after raising daughter Kayla in a seemingly loving environment. Now in her teens, Kayla seems distant to her corporate lawyer mother and musician dad who spoils her. While taking Kayla to a ballet school retreat, she spots her friend Britney. The journey takes a turn for the worst when Jay is alerted by his daughters screams with Britney nowhere to be seen. Almost immediately, Kayla admits to having done something terrible. The broken family unit reunites as they scramble and try to cover for Kayla’s impulsive, life-changing decision.
Sitting on a shelf for two years and retitled from its original title FROM EARTH AND SKY this seems very different from the usual Blumhouse output as it forgoes the familiar horror/thriller elements that have made the studios name over the past few years. Subtler and as much a family drama as a thriller it does, however, become more gripping as it goes on. However, the film fails to stick the landing with an ending that whilst low key still manages to be overwrought with one particular revelation threatening to undermine the film completely.
Enos and Sarsgaard do well in their portrayal of shell-shocked parents trying to figure out what exactly their daughter is capable. King does well also with her potential bad seed whose emotions pinball from tear ridden guilt to a sunny disposition at the drop of a hat. Sud’s direction is slick, keeping the pace running smoothly along as the families attempts to cover up their misdeed hangs heavier around them and events threaten to spiral out of control.
It may lack a certain sense of credibility, but the film still manages to draw in the viewer. Its tale of crime and punishment quickly manages to leave one wondering what they would do in such a situation. The wintry, snow-covered locations of the film provide a chilly atmosphere. It may lack a particular bite, but for a piece of frank yet fitfully gripping entertainment, it helps to pass the time for this Halloween season.