Trust is said to be the bedrock of any relationship, but sometimes relying 100% on trust can be more than problematic, when even trusted tools like memory have been rendered useless in this situation. In 2018 Netflix kicked off its new original with a car crash of intrigue, romance, and much darker topics with its release of Secret Obsession.
After a horrific car accident leaves Jennifer in the hospital, she regains consciousness with little memory. A man introduces himself as her husband, Russell Williams, and explains both how her parents have passed and how she doesn’t keep in contact with her old work friends. He has a lovely looking house in the isolated mountains. But with her husband’s peculiar behaviour and a determined detective who won’t let this car accident rest. Jennifer may have reason to suspect that this charming man saying he’s here husband might have an ulterior motive.
Brenda Song, despite being best known for her role on The Suite Life, she seems to be a good actress and even here, she manages to maintain both a level of believability of the character and sympathy required to see her do well. It should be noted though much of the drama comes from seemingly ‘Mr Right’, played by Mike Vogel, his character is a mixture of charming, caring and mysterious. But there is something off about his persona, that manages to convey that everyday creepiness you can sometimes see from people on the street.
Secret Obsession has been a fine pupil of the thriller, borrowing from a variety of new and old genre classics. I was reminded of other Netflix features namely The Open House. Yet the plot will also seem similar to those who have seen Misery and Sleeping With The Enemy. Regardless It does a relatively good job of establishing this conceit, but not in a way that the entire film is spent trying to justify what is going on. The audience can work out pretty quickly what’s going on here, but that doesn’t detract from the drama. As it is more of the reaction to the looming danger and revelations that I found engaging, and the side plot with the maybe unnecessarily obsessive detective Page makes an excellent topping.
Secret Obsession is a film we don’t see too often these days. A classic thriller in both its plot and its execution. It seems to have learned from the best, given a contemporary spin along the way. With a dash of Misery and some fresh touches of other contemporaries that Netflix has spearheaded (e.g. The Open House.) It’s a good vehicle for both Song and Vogel and I hope it leads to more opportunities for them down the road. Secret Obsession is a fun throwback thriller and would make a nice fixation for the next hour and a half.
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