NO EXIT (2022)
The tale of two films, No Exit starts offbeat her slow and boring before it takes the chains off and roars into a wildly entertaining and suspenseful second half.
When Darby (Havana Rose Liu) gets stuck at a makeshift shelter during a snowstorm, she stumbles upon an abducted young girl and a new up fighting for her life as she figures out who is behind the kidnapping. Killing Ground’s Damien Power certainly knows how to ratchet up the suspense and delve deep into a violent, bloody mess… it just takes him a while to get there with No Exit. Our introduction to Darby brings viewers on board expecting a completely different tone than what ultimately is delivered, an unnecessary inclusion that starts things off on the wrong foot. Diving right into the character’s literal journey that results in her being at the shelter, and subsequently learning about her, would have been a more complimentary choice to the strengths of the film altogether. Aside from Liu’s shadowy and guarded performance, Danny Ramirez is the clear standout with a devilishly good performance.
Sometimes adaptations of novels need a lot of the fat trimmed. Having not read the source material or being familiar with what was included and not, I can’t speak to specifics, but it would seem that there was a better way to deliver exposition that would have played better to Power’s strengths and interests. The result would likely have been more of a mainstream thriller than a destined-to-be-forgotten streaming entry. Still, the twists and turns are highly entertaining once you put the work in to get there.
No Exit is now streaming on Hulu.
Photo from The Hollywood Reporter