Wednesday, March 9, 2022

No Exit (2022)

Streaming Service: Hulu
Movie Name/Year: No Exit (2022)
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Length: 95 minutes
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: 20th Century Studios, Flitcraft, Hulu, Disney+
Director: Damien Power
Writer:  Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari, Taylor Adams
Actors: Havana Rose Liu, Danny Ramirez, David Rysdahl, Mila Harris, Dennis Haysbert, Dale Dickey, Benedict Wall
Blurb from IMDb: During a blizzard and stranded at an isolated highway rest stop in the mountains, a college student discovers a kidnapped child hidden in a car belonging to one of the people inside.

Selina’s Point of View:
I hadn’t heard about the release of No Exit, it just appeared on Hulu one day. It was a random pick when I added it to the schedule. Hulu needs to do better at marketing their original films, because this one isn’t going to be seen by nearly as many people as it should be.
Everything about this movie defied expectations.
Obviously, I do try to go into everything I watch with an open mind. But, like most people, I’m a victim of my biases. After watching enough films, it becomes easy to see commonalities that almost force expectation. What I saw here was an early movie from a lesser-known director that had a couple of recognizable faces, but no marketing at all. To me, that said Hulu was giving a director a shot, but didn’t have faith in it. I’ll admit, I settled in for a flick I thought would be a trainwreck.
I was wrong.
Not only was No Exit amazing, but director Damien Power (Killing Ground, Peekaboo, To Be) showed off the kind of talent that has created household names. I’m going to be following his career very closely from here on out.

There was nothing to dislike here. If I had to be overly critical, I would say that I didn’t love David Rysdahl’s (Nine Days, The Land of Owls, Dead Pigs) character. I thought he was a bit overdone, but even that turned out to not be an issue. By the end, it made sense for the story.
Speaking of the story, the writing was exceptional as well. I hit a point about 20-minutes in where I was resigned to the belief that No Exit was going to be a basic-bitch flick. After all, I’d already predicted everything that was happening. I leaned back in my chair, crossed my arms, and made a snarky note in my book. No one can say that the writer(s) didn’t know the minds of their target audience, though, because about 5-minutes later I realized they’d lured me into thinking that on purpose.
I don’t know whether to credit screenwriters Andrew Barrer (Die in a Gunfight, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Haunt) and Gabriel Ferrari (Die in a Gunfight, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Quantum and Woody) with all that, or the novel’s author, Taylor Adams. I haven’t read the book, so I don’t know what parts of the story were altered for the screen. I’m just going to send out a general ‘hell yeah’ to them all.
I’m also going to take a trip to the store, because I need to get this book.
No Exit destroyed every expectation I could have had and reminded me to keep my biases out of it.

Cat’s Point of View:
I was excited to see No Exit.
Havana Rose Liu (Mayday, The Chair, The Sky Is Everywhere) played such a relatable character for me. There have definitely been times in my life I was ‘over it’ when faced with working on my own issues. I could feel her desperation to respond to her family crisis. It provided a steady undercurrent of tension below the other events within the movie.
No Exit swept me along on this wild ride and didn’t pump the brakes. Just when I thought things were heading in one direction, the story threw in twists that blindsided me.

It was also a treat to have Dale Dickey (Winter's Bone, Super 8, Blood Father) and Dennis Haysbert (The Unit, Fist Fight, Lucifer) among the cast. They were excellent choices for their roles and definitely helped elevate this production.
No Exit took good advantage of the snowy setting. The remote and decrepit visitor’s center felt sufficiently isolated. I had no trouble suspending disbelief.
The credits for No Exit mentioned that this film is a book adaptation. I might just put this one on my ever-expanding to-read list. I really enjoyed the story that was brought to the screen. I’m intrigued as to whether there’s more to the tale that just didn’t fit in the runtime.
If you have a subscription to Hulu, No Exit is an excellent choice for a movie night in. Bundle up with a warm beverage and don’t forget to breathe.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 58%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 56%
Metascore – 54%
Metacritic User Score – 6.6
IMDB Score – 6.1/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 4.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating 4/5
Movie Trailer:

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