Ignore the IMDB user rating from furious parents, there is no better crime drama horror film this year than Blumhouse’s terrific The Lie. A movie that stares point blank into the eyes of mothers & fathers everywhere and bluntly asks… What depths would you sink to rescue your guilty child from being submerged in jail time?
This film impressions review contains spoilers for The Lie.
The Lie centers around a teenage girl shoving her best friend off a bridge… Intentionally. Sound familiar? Well, if you recall there was a 2018 news story about that very same crime involving two teenage girls with actual video footage. In The Lie this is no such video captured or eyewitnesses for that matter..
Kayla admits to shoving BFF Britney off a remote bridge to her father Jay on a snowy day with no one else in the vicinity. Jay, played by Peter Sarsgaard, immediately scrambles to find Britney but can’t locate her in the raging rapids below. The building blocks for every parent’s worst nightmare, a ultimate starting point for ‘The Lie’.
A dilemma presents itself, does Jay call 911 and the police? Or does he save his daughter’s future from a lifetime behind iron bars? What would you do?
You guessed it… Jay & daughter Kayla leave the area of the crime in a frenzied panic, leaving vital evidence like her dropped asthma inhaler behind in the process.
Jay has no choice but to tell his ex-wife and Kayla’s mother, Rebecca, what happened on the bridge. And that Rebecca can’t tell anyone, ‘This is your daughter we’re talking about! Britney’s life is already over.’ The need for a coverup, ‘The Lie‘ is full steam ahead now.
However, Jay is still arguing with Rebecca that it was an accident and that she always thinks the worst of her own daughter. That’s when Kayla, played by Joey King, has a remarkably executed scene where she confesses the push came with malice. Kayla pushed Britney out of anger, intending to injure her or worse. It was no accident.
Again, put yourself in Jay and Rebecca’s shoes as parents in The Lie, what would you do?
‘My God… Who did we raise?’
Peter Sarsgaard and Mireille Enos (who plays Rebecca) are brilliant in their sorrow as parents. There’s a scene in The Lie after Kayla tells her father she pushed Britney because of Britney’s infatuation with him, where he sits alone in his car… Crying. It’s absolutely brutal and gut wrenching.
The responsibility of carrying the burden of a death from a perceived flirtation and its resulting jealousy of the non-existent ‘big love.’
Then there’s the moment where Rebecca first lies to Britney’s father Sam, played by Cas Anvar, about the whereabouts of his daughter. ‘She’ll turn up.’ You feel empathy for both Jay and Rebecca’s position in The Lie despite them being ‘bad people’ in context.
The Lie is a ruthless horror movie because it hits hard where it matters most… In unfiltered realism. There’s no paranormal activity or possessed dolls and exorcisms to be found here.
No boundary set where the film is an escape from reality. The Lie happening to a parent is just a matter of life’s fortunes, bad luck. It can happen to you tomorrow.
Joey King is exemplary in a co-leading role as Kayla in The Lie because her teenage reactions are as realistic as can be. Dancing between stone cold to ambivalence to full-on mental breakdown. Asking to be caught every step of the way.
‘My God… What have we become?’
Jay and Rebecca go on the offensive early, accusing Britney’s father Sam of having a known ‘temper’ to the police. If you get the drift… Rebecca utilizes her college networking connections with Detective Kenji, played by actress Patti Kim, to get the ball moving in that direction. Kayla is all too keen to play along when questioned, and so Sam’s life begins unraveling. Every public display of anger on Sam’s part works against him.
It’s discovered Britney, played by Devery Jacobs, also happened to steal Kayla’s boyfriend from messages… Every ten minutes, the innocence of Kayla as a misunderstood, sensitive teenager evaporates for Jay, Rebecca, and the audience. Another disturbing revelation is always made until the two parents can’t look at their daughter or themselves the same way anymore.
Without giving away The Lie’s amazing, and we mean amazing twist ending… All The Natural Aristocrat® will say, is lying always begets more lies. More coverups. Until there is no going back.
The distortion of reality becomes too great and you can only continue up that mountain. Instead of carefully belaying downwards to ground level.
The Lie’s final scene is one of horror’s best in years. Especially, if you’re a parent. You will never forget that final visual and how it made you feel.
The Lie Review Conclusion:
The Lie is what all Amazon Originals should strive to be. Excellent work from Blumhouse and Director/Writer Veena Sud.
‘The Lie’ Film Trailer:
Get your Fire TV ready, this Amazon Prime Video Original from Blumhouse is not to be missed!
Disclosure: The Natural Aristocrat® is a participant in Amazon’s affiliate program. It may receive a commission should you make a purchase for the links related to The Lie above. The Natural Aristocrat® was invited to a virtual screening of The Lie as part of Amazon’s ‘Welcome to the Blumhouse’ online event.