The Lie builds so much of itself on a secret, a big reveal. The danger in this is that if the twist isn't truly compelling or well thought out, it can ruin the whole film. Director Veena Sud waits until the last possible moment to reveal a big twist and it turns out to be a big mistake. The Lie is part of the Welcome To The Blumhouse series dropping on Amazon this month.
The film is set in winter as Kayla (Joey King) is headed to a ballet class. Her parents are separated. Mother Rebecca (Mireille Enos) is uptight and rigid. Her dad Jay (Peter Sarsgaard) is cooler. He plays in a band after all and wears sunglasses. Jay is taking Kayla to the ballet school when they spot Brittany (Devery Jacobs), one of Kayla's friends, waiting in the cold at a bus stop. Her father and her got into a fight and he made her take the bus. Kayla insists they give her a ride. Instantly the girls begin to argue. Brittany asks Jay to pull over so she can pee in the woods. Kayla joins her. Jay hears a scream and runs after the girls. Kayla tells him that Brittany fell off a bridge. Jay frantically searches for her but can't find her. When he's about to call 911, Kayla confesses she pushed Brittany off the bridge.
What proceeds is how far Jay and Rebecca will go to protect their daughter. They are disturbed by what their daughter did and her casual attitude about it but still agree they must cover things up. Kayla soon becomes increasingly unhinged. She acts like a sociopath but the film is never clear on what the audience is to make of all this. Is Kayla rotten? Are her parents monsters for their actions?
As the director complicates the story with Brittany's dad and the police, she loses sight of the audience. We are left to wonder where things are headed and they are headed somewhere. Where that is though is something I won't spoil but I don't think an audience will buy it. I didn't and was left even further confused about what the point of the story is. It feels like the rug gets pulled out from under the audience for the sake of a shocking reveal. This is unfortunate as the performances here are pretty good. There are just in service of a dumb story.
The Lie is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video as part of the Welcome to the Blumhouse series.