In a world where people in dangerous situations are usually burly and surly monosyllabic men, who fight bad guys and track down the crooks, and women usually appear to be slept with or in peril, it’s refreshing to come across a thriller where men are almost entirely uninvolved at all, and the protagonist is a woman on a personal mission that quickly leads her into more danger than she expected.
Lori Colson (deBoer) is a pregnant schoolteacher, happily married to David, a generic sort of husband who disappears from importance some time into the narrative. Upon telling her mother of her condition, Lori’s mother has a confession: she was actually adopted. Lori goes in search of her real mother, and upon finding her, is confronted with abject terror. Eventually Lori learns the truth: her father Garrett (Riley) was imprisoned for the murder of her grandfather. However, when she meets Garrett in prison, she finds herself forming a proper connection with him, and starts to believe his story that he was framed. Lori sets out to find the truth of what happens, and finds herself spiralling into an ever more dangerous web of secrets.
Lori is depicted as a suitably viewable hero, vulnerable yet determined, normal, yet willing to do the extraordinary, a fighter, and yet a loving family woman. This is important because if we are expected to first care about her success and then her survival, it’s fitting that we as an audience actually care about what happens to her. However, at times it does feel as though more and more effort is put in place to artificially isolate her, to raise the tension through lack of natural means. What is her husband doing half the time? Who knows, Lori is on her own apparently, because I can imagine that a description “a fight for survival, with maybe one or two friends” is less tense for the viewers and marketers.
This film is undoubtedly suited for a female audience, though in no negative way whatsoever, meaning that any viewer, male or female, who would enjoy seeing a thriller where the characters communicate, where heartfelt reunions are often and encouraged, where the bad guys are defeated for the sake of the family rather than vengeance or some such would find something to enjoy about this movie. It’s not spectacular, not world shattering, merely adequate. Maybe catch it on TV sometime?