There are many movies that are worth seeing, but there are a lot of stinkers as well. My goal here is to weed out the good from the bad.
Ray Monroe (Sam Worthington) is taking his wife, Joanne (Lily Rabe), and daughter, Peri (Lucy Capri), to visit family for Thanksgiving. During their trip Peri falls and breaks her arm, leading to Ray and Joanne having to rush her to the nearest hospital. Once there, a doctor takes a look at Peri's arm, but the doctor determines that her fall may have also resulted in a head injury. Thus, the doctor advises sending Peri in for some scans as a precaution. Only one parent is allowed to go with Peri for the scans, so Joanne goes in, leaving an anxious Ray alone in the waiting room. When his family have not come out hours later, Ray goes to the front desk looking for answers.
Ray becomes shocked when he is told that the hospital has no record of his wife and daughter having ever been there. He does not know what happened to his wife and daughter, but he knows he saw them go down the hall for x-rays hours earlier. He also knows that his family would not leave the hospital without him. Wherever they are, Ray fears his family may be in great danger, and he begins to suspect that the hospital has done something sinister to his family and is trying to cover it up.
The Pros & Cons
|The Pros||The Cons|
Ray Monroe (+6pts)
Joanne Monroe (-3pts)
The Cops & Hospital Staff (+5pts)
The Therapist (-3pts)
The Climax (+4pts)
The Ending (-3pts)
Pro: Ray Monroe (+6pts)
This was one of those movies in which we were not supposed to know if the main character was sane or not. The whole point of this story was to play with the idea that Ray Monroe was either telling the truth or he was crazy. The filmmakers did a really good job of making either side believable, and Sam Worthington did a convincing job in the role. Throughout the movie, I had my guess as to what the truth was, but the filmmakers did a good job of making me uncertain.
What was so interesting about this mystery was that, as the movie progressed further, both possibilities seemed equally far-fetched while also being equally believable. Then there was Sam Worthington's performance, which really effectively made me buy the character's sincerity. Even though one of the possible outcomes would result in him being guilty, I still truly felt for the guy, because from his perspective he was just trying to save his family. This was an interesting and broken character, and I imagine this was a tough role to play convincingly, but Sam Worthington did a great job with it nonetheless.
Con: Joanne Monroe (-3pts)
This character was not in the movie much, because finding her and Ray's daughter was the main objective of the movie, but I thought she was annoying whenever she was on-screen. The way she responded to things, the looks she gave, and the things she said all came across as really weird. They were not weird in an interesting thriller-mystery sort of way, but rather, the things the character said and did either seemed illogical or out-of-character. Some of these things were explained later in the movie, but others were not. It was obvious that the filmmakers wanted this character to give the viewer a weird vibe, even when it did not make any plot-related sense to do so. The result was a character that did not work for me, with a performance that felt forced, and character actions that made no sense.
Pro: The Cops & Hospital Staff (+5pts)
With about a 50-50 chance that Ray was crazy, the cops ended up being the more relatable characters in the movie. They were trying to get to the bottom of what was going on, much like the viewer, and they were an unbiased party, also like the viewer. This meant that they more or less behaved as the viewer would in their situation, making them likable. Were they well-developed characters? No, we actually learned absolutely nothing about them, but they were easy to get behind because it was easy to put myself in their shoes.
Then there was the hospital staff, who were another set of effective characters. The whole point of this movie was that we were supposed to be unsure of Ray's sanity. In order for that to work, the viewer needed to believe that the hospital staff could either be completely innocent or disturbingly evil. The viewer needed to believe the hospital staff was either of these two things, and the two options needed to seem equally possible to the viewer. This would not work if the script surrounding these characters was not written well and carefully, and it would not work if the performers did a poor job of selling it, so I was relieved when I was able to buy both possibilities. The actors did not give the correct possibility away too soon, and the writing kept the mystery rolling. From the writing to the performances, everything about these characters was executed effectively, and kept me intrigued in this thriller.
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Con: The Therapist (-3pts)
This character was the exception to the rule of the movie having well-written, effective characters who made up the hospital's staff. The performance from the actress who played this character gave me bad vibes whenever she was on screen, but that was not what I thought did not work about the character. It was what the character was doing that seemed out-of-place. It did not make any sense for her to be as involved as she was, other than for the writers to attempt to misdirect the viewer. In a movie filled with effective performances and effectively written side characters, the therapist was a clear exception. Fortunately, she played a relatively minor role, so she did not hurt the movie too much.
Pro: The Climax (+4pts)
Without giving anything away, I was totally into the climax of this movie. The road to the climax was mostly slow, but it kept me invested. I was completely on the fence about which way I thought the movie was going to go, and by the climax, I was on the edge of my seat in anticipation of what Ray was going to discover, and what I was going to discover along with him. I know someone who saw this movie and claimed to have known exactly what was going on from the very beginning, and they claimed to have been completely certain of it for the entire movie. My experience could not have been further from theirs, so I am curious to know what your experience was if you have seen the movie. Regardless, we both agreed that the climax of this movie had both of us totally invested in what was happening, and as slow as this movie was while they were building the mystery during the rising action, the filmmakers delivered an exciting climax.
Con: The Ending (-3pts)
The ending felt a little cheap to me. I am going to choose my words carefully to avoid spoilers, but I thought the ending could have been much stronger. The climax of the movie delivered, but the ending brought an additional twist that seemed to undermine the climax. I am all for twist endings, but if this was the direction that the filmmakers wanted to go in, then the story ended far too early.
There was simply more story to tell here. The filmmakers wanted one final twist, but in making it a cliffhanger, it meant that they did not follow through with it. It was almost as if the filmmakers had initially ended the movie after the climax, but then they decided the movie needed something more. Their solution to this was to slap on this one final twist, but by ending on a cliffhanger, they ended up delivering no real payoff to that final twist. The filmmakers delivered a decent movie with a strong climax, but they ultimately failed to stick the landing.
Grade: B- (81pts)
I really liked the premise of this story. A concerned mother and father brought their daughter to the hospital for x-rays, and while the father waited in the lobby, he began to panic when his family did not return and the hospital staff claimed they had no record of his family being there. This meant there were really two possibilities. The main character was either crazy or he was telling the truth.
The filmmakers and the cast did a great job of balancing those two possibilities. I had my guess as to what I thought the end result would be, but I was very far from certain. The movie kept me guessing, and that allowed me to go along for the ride. I did, however, have a few minor issues with the movie. Joanne was played in a really annoying, and unnaturally mysterious way, the hospital therapist was written poorly, and the ending of the movie felt disappointingly incomplete. Still, I enjoyed the movie for what it was, as I thought it was a decent thriller.
dailytop10 from Davao City on November 05, 2019:
I enjoyed this movie. It keeps you guessing until the end. Is he crazy or not? And you'll start to question your own sanity. haha It's a must watch for thriller fans!
Liza from USA on November 01, 2019:
This movie was insanely good. Sam Worthington gave one of his best performances. Highly recommended movie to watch!