The Lie (2018) reviews and overview of Blumhouse psychological drama

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[Total: 64   Average: 2.2/5]

‘It was an accident’

The Lie is a 2018 American psychological drama feature film about a father and daughter who give her best friend a ride in their car. Unfortunately, their good intentions soon result in terrible consequences.

Written and directed by Veena Sud, based on the German film Wir Monster written by Marcus Seibert and Sebastian Ko.

The Lie is part of ‘Welcome to the Blumhouse’, a series of four films that are available to watch on Amazon Prime. The others are: Black Box | Nocturne | Evil Eye

Reviews [may contain spoilers]:

“Audience attention begins to wander at the halfway point, and when the (regrettably predictable) climactic confrontation ensues between Jay, Rebecca and Sam, it’s action that’s too little, too late. Despite this, The Lie is well-acted fare that offers beautifully chilling visuals…” Critical Blast

“It is wonderfully melancholic, and we are often left to ponder what we might feel compelled to do in order to safeguard the ones we love. There are certain sequences that are crafted to create suspense, and upon reflection, you will realise that the horror treatment just doesn’t make sense. The film loses all credibility for a cheap twist, one that you will see coming a mile away.” Cultured Vultures

“Based on the German film Wir Monster (which translates as We Monsters) from 2015 with an equally silly-sounding narrative, it’s really unfortunate Sud has chosen such flawed material to work with. By the time the final utterly idiotic twist arrives you’ll be screaming for your time back and angry with what seems to be an otherwise talented cast and crew, Jason Blum included, for tricking you into watching such nonsense.” Den of Geek

“Moral compromise and unyielding paranoia plant the seed for the psychodrama The Lie […] but a bonkers and unearned ending totally upends an otherwise intriguing family drama grounded in the burden of knowing a horrible truth.” Escape Into Film

“Most of the film pivots around the petulant Kayla, who alternates between self-absorbed crying and self-absorbed whining. An investigation into Brittany’s disappearance begins simultaneously, but as most of it happens offscreen, there’s little sense of urgency or escalation. The titular lie doesn’t so much snowball as it does plod along, until a third-act twist that’s exasperating owing to its lack of foreshadowing.” Film Companion

“The twists that The Lie goes through are frequently absurd, so much so that they go beyond the noir origins Sud seems to be pointing at and toward parody. If Sud had written a bit of humor into her screenplay, these could have been fun twists, but that’s not a direction she has much familiarity with; brutal and depressing is the only tone she knows.” Goomba Stomp

“The cruel twists of irony ultimately give the pic the air of a good European noir film, perhaps pointing to the story’s roots in director Sebastian Ko’s original feature […] All in all, The Lie feels like one of those OG psychological thrillers that folks just don’t make enough of any more.” The Hollywood Reporter

“It all builds up to a conclusion that is so deranged and twisted that it almost, almost, makes everything else worthwhile […] But that’s a big ask for a film that so often traffics in the basest of choices and lowest of ideas, precious time spent consuming a piece of entertainment that would like us to believe it’s a horror film now, just because the packaging says so. The truth is less thrilling: it’s just bad.” IndieWire

“What sets this apart from similar dramas is that even the smallest part seems perfectly in sync to the messaging of the film. It is all leading somewhere. As every crack in their stories is revealed, the audience shares the parents’ tension, waiting to see if and when they will be busted.” Killer Horror Critic

“That story is sharply told, even if there are moments that leave you scratching your head. The police presence is something out of a TV drama, and not a very good one. But when all eyes are on this family dynamic, The Lie is often riveting stuff.” MaddWolf

” …The Lie predominantly comes off as a woefully misguided endeavor that’s rarely, if ever, able to generate the thrills one might’ve expected (although, having said that, the third-act twist does ensure that, at the very least, the movie ends on a relatively positive note).” Reel Film Reviews

“The family dynamics, heightened by the fact that Jay and Rebecca are separated, adds to the tension, and all three actors do a fairly good job of capturing the anxiety of the predicament […] and a further twist only compounds the anxieties that we’ve seen the characters deal with throughout the film.” Sonic Cinema

” …the final twist — which, in itself, is a decent jaw-dropper — forces you to think back over the film, and when you do several elements of its logic simply wilt. The Lie is far from a total success, but it has enough tension and talent to make you hope that Blumhouse keeps aiming a quiet thriller or two at adults.” Variety

Release:

The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on September 8th 2018 but remained unreleased until it was sold to Amazon Prime and began streaming on October 6th 2020 as part of a package marketed as ‘Welcome to the Blumhouse’.

Cast and characters:

Peter Sarsgaard … Jay
Mireille Enos … Rebecca
Joey King … Kayla
Cas Anvar … Sam
Patti Kim … Detective Kenji
Nicholas Lea … Detective Barnes
Devery Jacobs … Britney
Dani Kind … Trini
Alan Van Sprang … Greg
Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll … Band Member
Vesper Rusk … Baby Kayla
Skyla Fowler … Baby Kayla

Filming locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Technical details:

97 minutes

Notes:

The working title was Between Earth and Sky and the film has been released in some territories with this moniker.

Trailer:

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