New to Disney+ in the UK and Hulu in the US, is the brand-new thriller, No Exit. The movie – directed by Damien Power – stars Havana Rose Liu, Dale Dickey, and Dennis Haysbert, and is based on the book of the same name by Taylor Adams.
No Exit follows the story of Darby – a recovering drug addict, who is travelling to Salt Lake City to visit her dying mother in hospital. Along the way Darby gets caught up in a blizzard, forcing her to take refuge with four strangers at a nearby visitor centre.
Although Darby should be relatively safe while she waits for the blizzard to subside, this is far from true, as shortly after arriving, Darby discovers a kidnapped girl trapped inside a van. The van belongs to one of the strangers, but she doesn’t know which one.
With the blizzard cutting the visitor centre off from the outside world, no access to the internet, and no phone signal, Darby tries to uncover the identity of the kidnapper. But even with this key piece of information only a few questions away, will Darby be able to get help from the other strangers during her hour of need?
Now, the premise for No Exit might sound quite intriguing, and I’ll admit, at first this film had my attention, but sadly the longer I stuck with it, the more disinterested I became. The reason for this is because the central mystery isn’t very mysterious, and once the identity of the kidnapper is revealed everything becomes very predictable.
Actually, even before the big revelation, the whole thing feels one-note, and really kind of cheap. No Exit comes across very much like a direct-to-TV kind of affair, with a minimal budget, limited ideas, and very little flair.
Had this been an episode of a television show, with a running time of around 40-45 minutes, it might have worked well, but stretching this premise to 95 minutes is a stretch too far. There’s simply not enough material to keep things interesting, and there’s practically no suspense.
In terms of the cast, Dennis Haysbert and Dale Dickey bring a little something to the movie, but everyone else is fairly forgettable. It’s not their fault, as no one gives a bad performance, they just don’t have much to work with.
The whole film feels like it just goes through the motions. There’s the initial set-up, some escalation, and a ‘plot twist’, but it has all been done before.
The only thing about this movie that is even remotely memorable is a graphic scene involving a nail gun. This whole sequence (you’ll know when you come to it), elevates the movie a touch, but outside of this brief moment, there’s really not much excitement or dynamism here.
No Exit is watchable and far from dreadful, but it offers nothing particularly imaginative. Things do pick up a little toward the end of the movie, but for the most part it is so-so at best.
Stick it on while you’re defrosting your freezer or cleaning the carpet. That way you can dip in during the more interesting parts of the film, and you don’t have to worry about the rest.