By definition, a thriller should do just that – thrill the viewers. Give us a good mystery and a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. And while No Exit may do that as a book, the movie version definitely is missing the thrill version.
No Exit follows Darby, a young girl in recovery who breaks out of her care facility to see her mother who is in the hospital. Along the way she has to stop along the way due to a winter storm and stay until it’s safe to travel again. Tossed into a situation with strangers is bad enough but when Darby finds a young girl bound in the back of one of the other travelers vans – she’s on a quest to save the girl and figure out who did it.
Overall, the premise sounds like something that would be a great thriller. A whodunit-style movie that keeps you guessing. But almost immediately you watch Darby make mistake after mistake that will have you yelling at the screen. Is her sobriety not that far off after all? We already know she’s poor at making choices, but why would you assume and trust people so easily when you know someone else in peril.
But the thriller tropes aren’t just to blame on Darby, with people who magically know things about other characters, and backstories that are too easily convenient to move the story along – it makes you wonder who thought this was a good idea. Just watching the errors of those involved, makes it easy to figure out what is going on and who is actually the bad guy (or guys) in the travelers. It is almost like a more predictable and less suspenseful Identity.
Having not read No Exit, I’m not sure if this is how it is written or just how it was adapted. The basic premise does set up a good base for some suspense but the movie just doesn’t deliver. It didn’t keep my attention and actually made me angry at how many of the thriller tropes it fell into, repeatedly.
No Exit will be released exclusively on Hulu and may be a good introduction thriller for teens. While the movie does have some blood and violence, it doesn’t have a lot of the scary moments or super gory things that others might have. Instead, newer viewers to the thriller genre may not even notice the tropes the movie continually falls into and may forgive it more than others will.
About No Exit
Hulu’s suspense/thriller “No Exit” is the story of Darby Thorne, a young woman en route to a family emergency who is stranded by a blizzard and forced to find shelter at a highway rest area with a group of strangers. When she stumbles across an abducted girl in a van in the parking lot, it sets her on a terrifying life-or-death struggle to discover who among them is the kidnapper. Directed by Damien Power (“Killing Ground”) from a screenplay by Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari (“Ant-Man and the Wasp”) based on Taylor Adams’ 2017 novel and produced by PGA Award winner Scott Frank (“The Queen’s Gambit”), the film stars Havana Rose Liu (“Mayday”), Danny Ramirez (“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” “Top Gun: Maverick”), David Rysdahl (“Nine Days”), Mila Harris (“Young Dylan”) and Dennis Haysbert (“Breakthrough”).