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Donna May is a grief counselor who suddenly finds herself grieving and alone after the hit-and-run death of her husband, Robert. Soon after Robert's death, Donna's estranged adopted son, Kevin, appears at her house, claiming he has cleaned up his act and wants to regain her trust. Donna reluctantly takes Kevin in, although they haven't seen each other since a violent fight that she and Robert had with him five years earlier when he was caught stealing money from them. It doesn't take long for the aggressive side of Kevin's personality to emerge. He claims that Robert had been cheating on Donna, and prevents her from leaving the house or having visitors. Donna's credit cards and checks go missing and Kevin won't allow her to answer the phone. When Donna's lawyer is found dead after Kevin accused him of being a fraud, she becomes convinced that Kevin killed him and attempts to escape the house, in what may prove to be a struggle for her life. Written by
I doubt that I'd want to watch this again, but it's better than some similar movies I've seen and packs some suspense into its approximately 90 minute run time. The performances - especially, I thought, from Christina Cox and Adam Beach - were a tiny bit dry. Cox played Donna - a woman who works at a local hospice helping those who are about to die who suddenly finds herself widowed when her husband is killed in a hit and run. Beach plays her friend Josh from work who wants to help her through her grief, but finds himself blocked by her formerly estranged stepson Kevin (Jon McLaren) who suddenly appears on the scene without warning and begins to take over.
McLaren's performance as Josh was a creepy one, as befits this kind of movie. He's up to something. We know that from the beginning, but as the story unfolds there are surprises along the way, and you can never really be sure until the end how much of what Kevin tells Donna is true and how much he's making up.
There were some plot issues that bugged me here. First is the typical issue I have with so many Canadian movies - why does this have to be set in a U.S. city? I know - they figure they're more likely to get it on TV in the U.S. if it's set in Philadelphia, because Americans apparently won't watch a movie set in Toronto or Montreal or Vancouver. Classic Canadian inferiority complex in my opinion. That aside, some parts of the story bugged me. A lot of Kevin's plan is based on Donna spraining her ankle and therefore not being able to escape the house. OK. I can see that he could rig the basement stair to collapse underneath her, but there's no guarantee that she'll hurt her ankle so badly that she wouldn't be able to run once she figures out that something's up. I was a bit dismayed at the apparent reconciliation between Donna and her mother-in-law at the movie's end. That was too easy. And here's my favourite line of the movie. The lawyer dealing with her husband's estate is murdered, and this is how it's reported on the TV news: "the body was found in the car with a bullet wound to the head. Police suspect foul play." They "suspect" foul play? Hmmm. Bullet wound to the head; no gun in the car, so no suicide. But they only "suspect" foul play? Good to know the Philadelphia police are on the ball!
This isn't bad. It's a stereotypical time waster. It's not the greatest chiller around, but it will pass 90 minutes.
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