The Lie is sort of I Know What You Did on the Way to School, only there’s no killer with a hook coming for revenge. The horror is all psychological about how a lie spirals further and further. That’s the scariest part of lying anyway so it’s the perfect subject for a psychological horror movie in the new Welcome to the Blumhouse collection.
Joey King, Peter Sarsgaard and Mierille Enos tell ‘The Lie’
Rebecca (Mireille Enos) is driving her daughter Kayla (Joey King) to dance camp. She hands off the drive to Kayla’s father, Jay (Peter Sarsgaard) and they pick up Brittany too. When they stop so Brittany can pee, she falls into a river. Kayla even admits she pushed her.
Jay is in a position to decide how to handle this, since there are no witnesses. He chooses the lie that will keep his daughter the safest. At first he doesn’t even tell Rebecca that it was Kayla’s fault, but both parents agree to give Kayla an alibi to keep her out of suspicion.Then Brittany’s father, Sam (Cas Anvar), shows up.
‘Welcome to the Blumhouse’, where ‘The Lie’ never ends
One would hope if people understood the depths they were committing to when they lied, everybody would remain honest. Whether they foresee it or not, it seems unfortunately natural that people think they can get away with it. Keeping secrets causes psychological horror, because you’re never done. There’s always another hole to cover up. You’ll end up chasing your own tail forever, and that will exhaust you mentally, if it doens’t kill you.
Jay and Rebecca starts rationalizing blaming Sam for abusing Brittany. Accusing a Pakistani dad of abuse adds some modern day insidious horror. Sam is only as panicked as any parent would be when their daughter goes missing. Jay and Rebecca should be sympathetic to Sam anyway, let alone when they know their family actually bears responsibility.
A family living in ‘The Blumhouse’
The Lie explores the bittersweet notion that this tragedy actually brings the family closer together. Jay and Rebecca are divorced, but having the common goal of keeping Kayla safe from suspicion gives them a way to reconnect. No one would wish this on a family, but it is relevant that crisis can bring people together in a way that stasis cannot.
You got to see the differences in the beginning. Rebecca was driven and pressuring Kayla to work hard at dance, which she seemed ambivalent towards. Jay was more interested in making his daughter happy, at the expense of discipline. The cast conveys the subtleties of this family unit well, and King especially the emotional volatility of a teenager.
There are no monsters or jump scares in The Lie. Nevertheless, viewers should strap in for a relentless descent into psychological desperation.
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