‘No Exit’ Above Average Thriller

A movie like No Exit recently released on Hulu is your standard thriller about a group of people stuck in a particular place with fear that something isn’t quite right.

Most of the action takes place in and outside a visitors center in the Rocky Mountains as a young recovery drug addict, Darby Thorne (Havana Rose Liu), has escaped from a rehab center on her way to Salt Lake City after learning that he mother is in the hospital after suffering a brain aneurysm. Of course this has to happen during a blizzard so when a highway patrol officer tells her there is no way she can make it to SLC but can wait out at a visitor center just opened up, she heads there.

At the center, she meets a middle-aged couple, Ed and Sandi (Dennis Haysbert and Dale Dickey), a creepy guy, Lars (David Rhysdal), who is listening to music, and a fourth man, Ash (Danny Ramirez) who is initially taking a nap. But once he awakes, he seems friendly.

Unable to contact anyone because of bad internet and phone service, Darby goes outside to see if she can get a better signal. But she notices a panel van with a handprint on the rear window. When she looks inside, she sees a young girl, Jay (Mila Harris) tied up. Now, the question is what does she do next.

Not knowing any of the people, it can be anyone of them who has kidnapped the girl. But she quickly takes a pic of the license plate and tries to text it to 911. To keep suspicion down, she goes back in the visitor center to try to appear nothing is out of the ordinary. Of course, that’s easier said that done, especially since Lars seems a little on edge after they all play a card game to pass the time.

If you’ve seen a movie like this, you know, there’s at least two or three twists before the movie ends. Damien Power, the director, films the movie with giving us just enough information that we need to know as it arises. Did the couple kidnap the girl? Or did Lars or Ash? Or are they in cahoots? Will they kidnap her too? Is the highway patrol Corporal Ron Hill (Benedict Wall) somehow connected?

The movie does seem to conjure up images of John Carpenter’s The Thing and Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight. Darby doesn’t know who to trust. To complicate matters, Darby learns that Jay has Addison’s Disease, which can cause an adrenaline overdose if she gets too stressed. So, she must struggle with how she can save Jay with this added threat and herself.

No Exit doesn’t offer anything new to the genre. But it does manage to follow the formula very well making all the twists and turns believable. This all relies on Liu’s performance. According to http://www.imdb.com, she’s only been acting since 2018 in a handful of roles. Hopefully, this will give her some better roles in the future.

I’ve seen better thrillers and I’ve seen worse. This is a little better than average. The only issue I had with the movie is that when we find out about Jay more, it makes her less sympathetic. This is the second feature Power has directed after directing several shorts. He’s still getting his feet wet.

What do you think? Please comment.

Published by bobbyzane420

I'm an award winning journalist and photographer who covered dozens of homicides and even interviewed President Jimmy Carter on multiple occasions. A back injury in 2011 and other family medical emergencies sidelined my journalism career. But now, I'm doing my own thing, focusing on movies (one of my favorite topics), current events and politics (another favorite topic) and just anything I feel needs to be posted. Thank you for reading.

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