Directed by: #PeterSullivan
#Netflix has grown from strength to strength in recent years, moving on from mail-order DVDs to becoming the biggest streaming platform there is. It’s fair to say it also has established quite an impressive catalogue of original productions to offer its subscribers these days, alongside all its other licensed content. But the harsh reality is that Secret Obsession, one of Netflix’s most recent original ventures, is not the streaming behemoth’s finest hour and a half.
The film opens with a woman (Brenda Song, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody) running for her life from a knife-wielding stranger. In her attempt to escape, she is struck by a car and after waking up in hospital, has no memory of her life before the incident. Rushing to her side is Russell (Mike Vogel, Bates Motel, Under the Dome), who tells her that her name is Jennifer and that he is her husband. After helping Jennifer with her recovery, he takes her back to their magnificent dream house to pick up their lives again. However, it is not long before Jennifer realizes that all is not as it seems in their perfect world.
Time to be frank; if you have watched the movie trailer for this film; you already know what happens in this film. And on the off chance that you might still be unsure after that, the first fifteen to twenty minutes will confirm it for you. The title here says it all really, and because we are painfully aware of what is going to happen very early on, it is a long ninety minutes waiting for the rest of the characters to catch up with us. The cast here do the basic job of delivering the uninspired dialogue, with Song acting scared in the appropriate places and to her credit, tries her best to bring some sort of tension to the film but other than that, it’s very daytime movie calibre, especially Vogel who only seems to deliver one flavour throughout; bland.
As well as the whole outcome being telegraphed very early on, the film is laden with done-to-death thriller clichés with seemingly no attempts to subvert our expectations. There are unresolved sub-plots, Dennis Haysbert (24, The Unit) as detective Frank Page has a missing daughter which is briefly mentioned early on but never referred to again until being quickly swept away at the end, not to mention several moments of jarring, over-dramatic music. All this is rounded off by several plot-holes, aggravatingly dumb character decisions, and laughably unrealistic setups (the lighter and the candle is especially ridiculous); this movie should perhaps come with a warning that it may cause severe eyestrain for viewers from rolling them in disbelief so often.
It’s great that Netflix offers #filmmakers a platform to get their projects out there which would otherwise might never be seen. But with nothing new to offer and a plot so painfully obvious, Secret Obsession is one that maybe should have been reconsidered.