It’s attention-grabbing that “No Exit,” premiering at the moment on Hulu, was as soon as scheduled for a theatrical launch by Fox as a result of it feels just like the form of factor that doesn’t play in multiplexes anymore. It’s obtained low funds and solely a pair of acquainted faces. The market has pushed this type of thriller out, shifting them to streamers like Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu. So Fox altering their thoughts after the Disney merger and pushing this to their streaming service is smart. Gone are the times when one may stumble into one thing like “No Exit” on a wet day without actually realizing what it’s about, startled by its twists and turns. It jogged my memory an excessive amount of 2003’s “Identity,” one other single-setting thriller with modest funds that made $90 million in a really totally different period, or the movies that sometimes starred Angelina Jolie or Ashley Judd based mostly on books that everybody learns on a seaside a number of years earlier. “No Exit” is imperfect and struggles to get going, however, it’s a grisly piece of labor that earns your suspension of disbelief. In the event you’re a fan of these ‘00s standalone thrillers, take a look at “No Exit” earlier than it will get crushed within the subsequent wave of streaming content material.
Damien Power directs this adaptation of a thriller novel of the identical identity by Taylor Adams. It has the form of fantastically easy set-up that this fan of Hitchcock and Christie loves. A girl named Darby Thorne (Havana Rose Liu) will get a name that her mom is within the hospital. She flees the rehab facility she’s in—an element that provides to her vulnerability and sense of general panic—to try to drive to get to her mom, regardless of the protestations of her sister. As he’s touring by means of the treacherous Utah mountains, she hits a blizzard, forcing her off the street and right into a relaxation cease to attend it out. There, she meets 4 different stranded vacationers—Ash (Danny Ramirez), Lars (David Rysdahl), Ed (Dennis Haysbert), and Sandi (Dale Dickey). It appears mundane till Darby goes outdoors to get a sign and finds a kidnapped woman (Mila Harris) in a van. Whose van? One of many 4 individuals in the remainder cease is a monster. Darby has to determine who’s harmful sufficient to kidnap a baby and the way she will be able to save the woman in the midst of a snowstorm.
“No Exit” form of blows up its premise early, revealing the kidnapper earlier than the tip of the primary act, however, don’t panic. That is the form of the script one would know relies on a novel without seeing the credit as a result of it has a few half-dozen chapter-ending twists. Let’s simply say there are a whole lot of secrets and techniques in that relaxation cease, and whereas some could also be postponed by the coincidences and contrivances, “No Exit” works higher because it piles up the madness. It’s a kind of movie that deftly teeters on the sting of utter nonsense, and the balancing act turns into a part of the escapist enjoyable. It helps that Energy admirably holds it collectively by way of craft, getting brutal sufficient to remind those who he made “Killing Ground” whereas additionally having a stronger eye than a whole lot of streaming unique administrators, particularly within the chaotic last act.
He’s additionally sturdy along with his ensemble, by no means permitting Liu to devolve into histrionics however holding her grounded in a plausible efficiency. Haysbert and Dickey are each extremely welcome character actors who add vital weight as a couple who might not know all the pieces about each other. Ramirez and Rysdahl have very totally different energies, however, Energy and writers Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari lean into that and problem preconceptions.
It’s tempting to say that “No Exit” works finest if you happen to flip off your mind, and I really feel like there’s a stronger model with sharper dialogue and an extra pronounced sense of claustrophobic stress by way of area. Nevertheless, that is the form of factor that’s tougher to tug off than it appears. Belief me. I’ve seen so many forgettable thrillers on streaming providers. And I have got a sense that’s the place I’ll be watching much more.
Premieres on Hulu at the moment.