Written and directed by Anna Elizabeth James, ‘Deadly Illusions‘ purports to be a psychological thriller that was made by Voltage Pictures and released on Netflix.
Mary Morrison (Kristen Davis) is a successful author of a series of thrillers who declines an offer to write another novel by her publisher, but changes her mind after her loving husband Tom (Dermot Mulroney) reveals he lost a ton of their money on risky investments. On the advice of her best friend Elaine (Shanola Hampton), Mary employs a nanny named Grace (Greer Grammer) a prudish, friendly, and lonely girl who is an immediate hit with the kids. As Mary works on her novel, she and Grace grow inappropriately closer. Soon reality seems to mix with what Mary is writing and what she is going on.
Usually, I enjoy movies about writers being a novelist myself. I like to watch how filmmakers represent the world of authors, since most of them are writers as well. However, I can safely say that I did not enjoy this messy film one bit. It muddles through its plot and contradicts itself on the narrative it is telling. I found the modge podge to be head-scratching to the point where I did not even care what happens to the characters.
For one thing, the movie wants you to think that what Mary is writing is influencing how she is perceiving reality, with her husband, friend, and even herself acknowledging this multiple times. However, the story also seemed to imply that Grace might be playing this up with suspicion. It is tough to explain without giving away spoilers, so I will just say that the some of the incidents in the plot conflicts with the very narrative trying to push, making it more confusing than thrilling.
I genuinely feel bad for the actors. They were trying so hard to give their best performances, but the material they were working with was so distracting that it took away from their acting. Greer Grammer seems like such a nice person and she does her best to portray the mysterious Grace, but because of the messy plot, her character’s arc ended on such an odd note.
Bottom line, Deadly Illusions is a messy plot that has no sense of direction and ends up being confusing instead of thrilling.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Bloody violence, Sex/nudity, Strong foul language, Smoking
FAVORITE QUOTE: Sometimes when Mommy writes, the images in her mind are so vivid that she can’t tell the difference between the imaginary and real.
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