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Review: How Amazon Prime’s The Lie Is A Quietly Anxious Roller Coaster, But Not In A Good Way

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BY October 18, 2020
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Amazon Prime Video’s collaboration with Blumhouse Productions came out this month on the streamer. The first one that I got to see is The Lie, which is a pretty small movie, but one that had me anxious, bored, and freaking out by the end. It was a pretty wild roller-coaster ride, but not entirely in a good or enjoyable way. So here’s my Amazon Prime’s The Lie review, which shouldn’t be as up and down as the movie itself. 

Amazon Prime Video’s Interface Needs Work

Joey King Image via Amazon Prime Video.

Before we dive into Amazon Prime’s The Lie review, I feel like I need to take a moment to discuss the service itself. One of the larger streaming services on the market, Prime Video has many successful hits to its name. The streamer went very quickly from a side-service included in a bundle for Prime subscribers of the shopping service to rival Netflix in its current iteration. Despite this, the desktop interface for Prime Video is abysmal.

On the day of The Lie’s streaming release, a first-time Prime Video original collaboration with Blumhouse Productions, the film was nowhere on the home page, even after a search. I was only able to find it after double-checking the IMDB page for its release date, and then following a ‘Watch on Prime Video’ link which then played the movie for me. It’s a little silly for one of their original movies to be so difficult to access. Especially given that other originals like The Boys or Jack Ryan are all over the place in multiple sections of the homepage. I definitely hope it’s something that the streamer pays attention to in the future. Especially given how amazing their content is getting as of late. However, The Lie probably should have stayed buried within its catalog, somewhere.

The Lie Is An Intense Emotional Thriller With Many Ups And Downs

Amazon Primes The Lie review family. Image via Amazon Prime Video.

Amazon Prime’s The Lie is a very interesting concept that gets going pretty quickly. Kayla (Joey King) is the only child of divorced parents Jay (Peter Sarsgaard) and Rebecca (Mirielle Enos). During a trip to a ballet retreat, Kayla’s displeasure with her parents’ ability to move on to other partners is obvious. On her way to the retreat, a friend of Kayla’s unexpectedly joins them, only for disaster to strike. Jay’s paternal instincts kick into play to protect his daughter from any potential wrongdoing. But what follows is a frantic and anxious cover-up that begins with a lie and snowballs into so much more. Going into any more details would really be getting into spoiler territory, since a lot of The Lie’s impact comes from its twists and reveals.

Amazon Prime’s The Lie Review Is A Short Idea Expanded Into A Feature Film

Amazon Prime's The Lie review scared Image via Amazon Prime Video.

The Lie has a very interesting concept, but I’m not sure if it warranted a full-fledged feature film. Ironically, it feels like an episode of the Netflix original series, Black Mirror. And that could explain why the second act of the film completely drags. The beginning is intense and riveting and completely sucks you into the story. How the characters act and react to everything happening is the captivating part, until it isn’t. This could be in a small part due to how the scale of the film feels very small. There are only a handful of locations where the story takes place. Most of the time unfolding in the mother, Rebecca’s house. All of this helps keep the anxiety localized for the first act, but the second half of just these three main characters in quiet, and reflective moments is too slow.

Things pick up during the third act where a lot more happens, as things unravel and many of the supporting characters show up to take a more active part in the story. The ending is just as frantic and panicky, which I initially thought totally made up for the lacking middle. However, upon closer examination, the pacing does take away from the third act reveal, given that the movie could possibly lose audiences during that dip. Especially since Prime Video’s The Lie is a home release, so it’s that much more important to engage audiences with a tight story. Otherwise, they can just switch to something else or a different service altogether.

Blumhouse And Amazon Prime’s The Lie Review Is One Of 4 Originals

Amazon Primes The Lie review couple.

The Lie is one of four Blumhouse and Prime Video’s original productions. But it begs the question of why the collaboration sprung a feature film of this subject matter, when an hour-long episodic anthology series may have better served this story at least. It’ll be interesting to see how their films work out. While definitely interesting and worth a watch, the uneven pacing, and drooping story might be The Lie’s downfall. 

The Lie is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video. 

Featured image via Prime Video. 

MoviesAmazon Primeamazon prime videoBlumhousehorrorprime videoThe LieThriller

Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.

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