No Exit (Thriller) [Based on Novel] (2022)
Director: Damien Power
Writer: Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari, Taylor Adams (Based on Novel by)
Stars: Havana Rose Liu, Dennis Haysbert, Danny Ramirez, Mila Harris
Escaping from a rehab clinic to visit her hospitalised mother, Darby (Havana Rose Liu) gets stuck in a blizzard and is advised to take shelter in a local visitors centre. As she arrives, she discovers a young girl locked inside a van, meaning the kidnapper is close, and Darby intends to find out who it is.
Based upon Taylor Adams’ novel of the same name, ‘’No Exit’’ serves as Damien Powers’ second feature film after ‘’Killing Ground’’. Originally plans were made to attach Scott Frank to the project, known as a screenwriter for ‘’Logan’’ before Powers got assigned the production later. As a theatrical release wasn’t viable due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the studio decided to distribute the film digitally through Hulu. ‘’No Exit’’ has been produced by 20th Century Studios and Flitcraft.
As Liu’s Darby is still within the rehab facility, we quickly understand her personality and capacity. She’s sketched as a vulnerable yet headstrong individual, the former being a fairly uncommon role in thrillers and action films as we’re often confronted with highly competent persons, such as John Wick or John McClane, who, due to some instigating event, tackle the situation at hand. ‘’No Exit’’ however, creates an opportunity to explore something different, as based on Adams’ work.
The troublesome situation Liu’s character becomes involved in transforms into a whodunnit; however, the solution to the matter in question seems obvious from the first time everyone is together. While it does fizzle in being a less than unique flick, it transports us back to a different time where it was commonplace for such relatively simple thrillers to be released a dime a dozen; that’s not the only throwback vibe, though; even sporting a sense of old-school horror slashers.
Back to the narrative itself, while somewhat standard, as mentioned, it tries to throw the viewer through a loop effectively. The most charming aspect of it, however, is the simplicity and unpretentiousness. ‘’No Exit’’ seems to grasp what it needs to be excellently, which can most certainly be commended. Whether it’s a puzzling mystery or an obviously structured one-location scenario, at least it’s entertaining while still packing a punch. Every character gets their time in the sun as the coherent development moves towards a satisfying finale.
In an age where most Hollywood productions try to be overly-intelligent shockers or are milked into an overly sizeable franchise, ‘’No Exit’’ dials it back, turning into an enjoyable late-night thriller, probably not remembered long after but delightful as long as it lasts.
No exit needed.