Mike Vogel looking at Brenda Song in a wheelchair

Is ‘Secret Obsession’ worth watching?

Secret Obsession is worth watching if:

  • You want to watch every single psychological thriller on Netflix.
  • You have a twisted kidnapping fetish.
  • You want to see how Brenda Song’s been doing since The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.

Secret Obsession is not worth watching if:

  • You’re looking for a good script.
  • Watching people make stupid decisions in horror movies frustrates you.
  • You don’t want to see how Brenda Song’s been doing since The Suite Life of Zack and Cody,

Pros:

  • Most of the actors are pretty competent. (Although Brenda Song’s actually the weakest)
  • The twisted premise is kind of fun.
  • It does make you feel that ‘thriller’ sensation at times.

Cons:

  • The movie’s major twist isn’t really a twist, and its existence is frustrating.
  • Heavily relies on corny background orchestral music to set the mood.
  • Nothing deep or interesting about any of the characters.

score: 55% CHILLIN 

One sentence story summary: When Jennifer wakes up with amnesia after a traumatic attack, her doting husband cares for her; but she soon realizes the danger is far from over.

If you’ve given any thought to the title, seen the thumbnail, or read the one sentence description that accompanies Netflix’s original film Secret Obsession, you probably have a good idea where the movie’s going to go. The film opens with lead actress Brenda Song running for her life, and before you know it, she gets smacked by a car and is in the hospital. That’s where her husband (winking emoji) finds her with severe memory loss. Now I’m being about as discreet, if not more so, than the movie itself at hinting where the plot turns about a third or halfway into the film…

The most frustrating thing about this movie is that, up until the ‘twist’ is fully unveiled, it’s impossible to tell whether the movie wants you to know that it’s coming or not. It’s so painfully obvious where the story is going, yet the film seemingly keeps doing INSANE things to keep it ‘hidden’. This results in you watching the first third of the movie while constantly asking, “Surely there must be a twist BEHIND the twist, right?” Some sort of double twist? Because if not, this movie is a total mess and must think I’m a complete idiot.

After watching it I can safely say that it’s not the viewers who are the idiots, it was the writers. Beyond the mess that is the non-twist, the writing is often just shoddy throwaway lines, and the characters have about as much depth and personality as the brown twig I can see floating in the shallow end of my pool.

If and when you can get past the mess that is the writing, the premise is admittedly kind of fun and the acting is solid enough to where you do feel some moments of tension and anticipation that come with all good thrillers. Unfortunately a lot of the tension relies on overly generic orchestral music and some painfully dumb ‘damsel in distress’ decisions that are seen so often in middling horror movies.

The movie is really dumb. But if you absolutely love thrillers and can get behind the premise, it’s not a total waste of time.

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