IMDb Rating: 5.1/10
R |1h 37min | Drama, Horror | 06 Oct 2020 (Brazil) | Movie
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 42 % Rotten (Critics)
Director: Veena Sud
Writer: Veena Sud, Marcus Seibert, Sebastian Ko
Stars: Peter Sarsgaard, Mireille Enos, Joey King
IMDb summary: A father and daughter are on their way to dance camp when they spot the girl’s best friend on the side of the road. When they stop to offer the friend a ride, their good intentions soon result in terrible consequences.
The lies and secrets we keep can destroy a life and a family, which is the focus of this film. Even though this is a Blumhouse production, I didn’t really feel it as a “horror” movie. Sure, some events that are carried out by almost every character in the film could be “horrible” but I wasn’t feeling much of that. The sense of dread was definitely there, but only because the people in this film suffer so much.
The film begins with a teenage girl named Kayla (played by Joey King) who is being driven to a Ballet retreat by her father (played by Peter Sarsgaard). On the way to the retreat, Kayla sees one of her friends Britney and tells her father to pull over so they can give her a ride. Along the way, Britney says that she has to go to the bathroom so they end up stopping along the deserted road in the middle of nowhere. The two girls leave the car and go off into the woods together. After some time, Kayla’s dad decides that it has been long enough and goes looking for them. As he is calling out to Kayla, he hears what sounds like a scream. Suddenly, fearing for his daughter’s life, he runs into the woods calling out to her. When he finally finds her she is sitting on the bridge railing looking down at the icy river below. But Britney is nowhere to be seen. Frantically, Kayla’s father yells at her, asking where her friend is. When he suddenly realises that she fell into the river. He runs down to the riverbed and starts looking for the girl, and all he can retrieve is a pink wallet.
They go back to the car (as it is freezing outside) and panic has taken over Kayla’s father. He takes Kayla’s phone, intending to call 911 when Kayla tells him she pushed the girl over the bridge. And that changes everything. The film really ramps up after Kayla’s admission that she pushed the girl.
One by one, just like dominoes, people get pulled into Kayla’s horrible secret as if it’s a living thing, slowly engulfing everyone it touches. Both Kayla’s parents do everything any loving parent would do, including thinking about calling the police. But Kayla’s father is dead-set against that, knowing what it means if they give Kayla up.
The film continues to pull more and more people in, including a friend of Kayla’s mother (played wonderfully by Mireille Enos) who is a detective. Piece by piece things unravel quickly for Kayla and her family willing to do whatever it takes to protect their child – and they do.
You know something is not right because, well, the movie is titled “The Lie” but the thing is there are so many lies that are told in favour of keeping Kayla off the police radar. It is only through her parent’s actions that “the lie” is finally revealed, much to everyone’s surprise, including mine..
Looking at the ratings for this film, I felt that the critics were way too harsh. Perhaps the ending was too much for people to take. Perhaps things got too dark too quickly for some, and when the truth reveals itself, everything falls into place despite what you were thinking. Perhaps some viewers didn’t like how the ending left things for Kayla and her family. But me, I enjoyed it and I’m giving it the rating I feel it deserves.
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Freelance entertainment writer and reviewer. Visit my blog on https://thebrokenquill.com.