Netflix now has so much money that it can do pretty much whatever it wants, and apparently one of those interests is reviving erotic thrillers, a subgenre few people have cared about this side of the millennium. Now, the next entry in its campaign, Deadly Illusions, has found its way into the Top 10 list, having remained at #1 for roughly a week already.
The story sees successful author Mary reluctantly begin penning another entry in her wildly profitable series of thrillers after her husband almost bankrupts them with a risky investment. To help with childcare and deal with her loneliness, she hires young nanny Grace, whose friendship also aids in overcoming her writer’s block, but before long it transpires that not everything is as it seems, because that’s what always happens in films like this.
The setup is painfully derivative of a number of other, far better movies, and with each new revelation of genre trope box-checking it becomes increasingly ludicrous and difficult to take seriously, to the extent that events occasionally veer into unintentional farce.
A key plot point sees Mary become so embroiled in the fictional worlds inside her head that she sometimes has trouble establishing what’s real, with several sequences edited in such a way to be unclear if they actually happened or are merely dreams, fantasies, false memories or hallucinations. Specifically, multiple moments between Mary and Grace are more than a little sexually charged, but their authenticity is intentionally left dubious to add some mystery to the formulaic tale.
Deadly Illusions is, without any of the ham-fisted ambiguity the movie itself displays, complete and utter trash with little in the way to recommend it. Despite this, it’s garnered enough attention that many people are voluntarily sitting down to watch it, although whether or not they’ll give it a moment’s thought after the credits roll is another matter entirely.