REVIEW: ‘The Lie’ is an Unsettling Opening to the Blumhouse

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“Welcome to the Blumhouse” is a program of four unsettling genre films produced by Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Television and Amazon Studios. This slate marks the first-ever program of Amazon Original movies on Prime Video that are thematically connected and is a strong start for the spooky season on the platform. The first films in the line-up are The Lie and Black Box. Having already thrilled genre fans with the Into the Dark slate on Hulu, “Welcome to the Blumhouse” comes as an exciting surprise.

The Lie is written and directed by Veena Sud and stars Peter Sarsgaard, Mireille Enos, and Joey King. The story focussed on an event, the lie spun from it, the lives that it impacts, and the choices made because of it. In the film, a troubled teen named Kayla (Joey King), her friend, and her dad are in a car riding to an event together. With tension between the best friends in the air, they stop for a moment. But when they leave the car, the tension spills over. While we hear something small off-camera, the aftermath is the focus of the film when Kayla confesses to impulsively killing her best friend. This moment—this singular moment—grounds The Lie.

The rest of the film follows two desperate parents as they attempt to cover up the horrific crime and protect their daughter. One lie begets another, and another, and yet another one until the complicated web of lies and deception pushes them towards unthinkable decisions all to save their little girl.

The Lie

The Lie is about deception, unequivocally. But it is also about the parental bonds and how that bond can corrupt, not from believing your child is infallible but from believing they can in fact harm. That said, the film’s script is tight and leaves little to no room for exploring other themes without spoiling it. The film is simple on all accounts. From storytelling to setting and sound, there isn’t a lot to hide behind. There are no grand moments of horror on-screen,  no gorefests, just a cold film set in winter, and the unrelenting fact that these parents must protect their daughter.

As a thriller, everything in this film works. The suspense builds from every interaction the couple has with other adults that pushes out another lie. It’s compounded every time Kayla does something “off.” And finally as the parents’ need to protect becomes increasingly aggressive towards anyone who threatens their safety — even if their own paranoia is driving them to this brink.

In a shock to no one, Sarsgaard is phenomenal. The emotion he displays, specifically how his gentleness morphs into anger and fear. Not just towards the people closing in on exposing their lie, but to his family as well. Additionally, King’s performance as Kayla is unsettling. She is apathetic to her deeds, to the lie, and seems slightly joyous as her family rushes around her to protect her from her actions.

Overall, The Lie is a sobering film with an ending that hollows you out. It asks how far you would go for your child and asks you to examine what exactly that means. As one of two opening films to welcome you to the Blumhouse, it makes sure it’s worth the stay.

The Lie is available exclusively on Amazon Prime Video now.


The Lie
  • 6/10
    Rating - 6/10
6/10

TL;DR

The Lie is a sobering film with an ending that hollows you out. It asks how far you would go for your child and asks you to examine what exactly that means. As one of two opening films to welcome you to the Blumhouse, it’s making sure it’s worth the stay.