Genre fans have yet another reason to be excited this October, with Amazon Prime Video’s movie anthology series Welcome To Blumhouse...
...This move for weekly horror is remarkable from the powerhouse that is Amazon, which has tried to enter the horror game on its own at various points (Lore). Signing an exclusive deal with Blumhouse is a surefire way to successfully throw their hat into the ring, given the studio’s record of hit films that have entered the mainstream lexicon and piqued the interest of both rabid and casual fans. It's a win win win, from fans to the studio to the corporation. It could also allow for smaller scope films to have a home when the tentpole and larger budgeted films find their way back to the big screen if we ever get back to that way of life. One can hope, but in the meantime, Welcome To Blumhouse is a welcome addition that will keep new films finding audiences, starting with Veena Sud’s The Lie, a film about the dangers of trying to protect loved ones from the consequences of their actions. It is a tense and perfectly directed thriller.
The Lie is a story of a fractured family and stars Peter Sarsgaard and Mireille Enos as Jay and Rebecca, protective parents who get in over their heads telling lie after lie to protect their daughter Kayla, played by Joey King. The premise is simple, and to say too much would spoil the film. Its achievement is all about the performances, and the three leads deliver in spades. The chilling way Joey King performs her character should win awards, it's deftly effective at seeming to undermine her parent’s intentions at every turn. And, of course, it’s hard not to be impressed with Sarsgaard and King, as they both have spent so much time perfecting their craft. Their interaction with each other and each cast member is exceptional. Sarsgaard has played plenty of neurotic and intense characters throughout his career and Jay is another prime example of his ability to carry with his performance a sense of uncomfortable dread. He is too preoccupied with protecting his daughter to see the world his lies have created is crumbling. It’s yet another fantastic work from an actor who has delivered great nuanced performance after great performance. To see the three leads excel at moving the story forward gives me hope for the rest of the Amazon released Blumhouse pictures.
What sets this apart from similar dramas is that even the smallest part seems perfectly in sync to the messaging of the film. It is all leading somewhere. As every crack in their stories is revealed, the audience shares the parents’ tension, waiting to see if and when they will be busted. Each moment is perfectly crafted in the script by Sud. The amount of intensity and terror built is impressive, which takes a talented cast working together perfectly with their director. Without question, The Lie hits all the right notes, and carries with it a weight and importance to the dynamic of a family in times of crisis. The look into a split household is there throughout the film, it rarely takes focus but it lingers. You feel the pain of the daughter when she lashes out in the most unexpected way early on in the film and her actions reverberate throughout the rest of the runtime. Enos, who plays Rebecca, Jay’s ex-wife, does not want to go along with the plan and her reluctance adds to the dramatic sense of dread that permeates The Lie.
This outstanding film should garner a broad audience. Those who have to come to expect a certain quality of standard for anything that comes from a Blumhouse release will be glad to know that it's still there even as they extend the branches of the way they deliver entertainment.
Welcome to Blumhouse, indeed.
The Lie debuts on Amazon Prime October 6th. Look for it and other Welcome To Blumhouse features soon.
By Justin Drabek
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