Believe me, I have made every effort to ensure that the Secret Obsession evokes such emotions that the viewer expects from a psychological thriller. I sat in front of the screen only at three o’clock in the morning, I closed the windows tightly with curtains, and just before the screening I sat next to my cat so that at the least desirable moment he could make some unidentified sound. And although the litany of complaints should begin here, how much this effort was of no avail, it was not this time. The screening is certainly accompanied by some tension. But that’s all you can give to this movie.
The very beginning of the movie resembles a slightly worse version of Nightmare of last summer. Jennifer (Brenda Song) runs horrified in the rain, followed by a guy in a dark outfit with a shiny blade in his hand. During a desperate escape, a woman falls under the car and loses consciousness. When he wakes up he will lose his memory. He won’t know anything about himself, much less about a traumatic assault. Fortunately, a loving husband will be sitting next to her, who will take care of her … Unless she turns out to be a psychopath, who only pretends to be her spouse, and the real one has long been either passed through a wood chipper or buried in the garden. Then it wouldn’t be so fun.
Before you suspect me of spoiling, watch the movie trailer – it reveals virtually everything. The very fact that the unmasking of the villain is so fast means that even without the help of the effusive trailer, the intrigue and mystery in this film is at the level of the average episode of Clan. However, if someone additionally watches the trailer before the screening, they will even receive the first dozen or so minutes of uncertainty in the film, when the false husband of the main heroine has not yet managed to reveal himself any wrongdoing, and around the hospital in which Jennifer lies, there is a suspect type. Anyway, the feature of this film is painfully simple and well worn. How many times have we watched this story on the screen in which a psychopath in love imprisons his beloved and she is figuring out how to escape from this trap? Thousands.
We also met the killer in the first chapters of the book and it did not mean that it ceased to be interesting to us. We still wanted to plunge into the meanders of Raskolnikov’s psyche, into what led him to the crime, and also to follow his struggle with the investigator Porphyry, whose watchful eye and razor-sharp mind did not hide anything. Here, instead of Raskolnikov, we have the most primitive antagonist in the world, which can only be said that he is a psychopath devoid of any interesting motivations. In turn, instead of Porphyry, the director introduces us to a policeman whose daughter was kidnapped a few years ago. But if you think that he will turn out to be a ruthless avenger who, with flashes in his eyes, will do justice to anyone who dares to break the law, you are wrong. Mention of his missing daughter appears only once in the film, and then stops and does not come back, finding no excuse in the story. As for the plot of the investigation conducted by the policeman, we will not find in this film impressive detective deductions or scenarios titled “catch me if you can”. The whole part of the film goes by simply, without creating any impression on the viewer.
Since the movie has so many minuses, why such a high rating, you will ask. First of all, it is worth highlighting Brenda Song, who, like other Disney stars that have been a bit forgotten in recent years, returns with assault on streaming channels (together with e.g. Zendaya, Debby Ryan Miley Cyrus or Vanessa Hudgens). The actress incredibly credibly played the role of the terrified, afraid of her own shadow of a woman who lost her memory. It is mainly thanks to Song that although, unlike her heroine, we know from the beginning who the man is claiming to be her husband, we watch Jennifer discover the truth step by step.
There is, however, another, more important reason why you watch without gnashing your teeth. Although it does it in the simplest and most schematic way, this film, to some extent, fulfills itself as a thriller. Although we are aware that all the tension is built on desperate escape attempts, which Jennifer makes repeatedly (who always chooses the least appropriate moment to do so), we follow them with constant interest. Although the characters make a lot of senseless and illogical decisions, the plot often doesn’t stick together, and the whole movie is painfully schematic and simple, at least from the second half we watch it with undying interest. Guilty pleasure at its purest. So if, God forbid, you expect something more from this movie, avoid it with a wide arc. But if you feel like biting your nails, wondering: “Will she get her this time or not?” during the tenth attempt to escape the main heroine, this is entertainment for you. Or maybe you’ve just completed Antonioni’s intellectually difficult marathon and want to reset yourself a bit? Then why not!
Although we can certainly call another netflix pulp, this time it appears in the form of overcooked porridge rather than a completely inedible dish. I recommend, but only if someone is looking for casual entertainment that will perfectly match the crunching of popcorn.
Source: Source: main picture: press materials