My Rating 2/10
Beware: Rant ahead. And Spoilers.
I’m going to try not to give any major spoilers, but I am definitely going to hint at shit without stating them explicitly because I somehow simultaneously feel pissed off and completely apathetic about this movie and everything it stands for.
Deadly Illusions (AKA: Grace) is about Mary, a rich best-selling author, who has a beautiful life, a beautiful family, and everything going for her. As a poor-as-fuck writer, I can honestly say that made me instantly hate her, but we’re not here to talk about my jealousy. You’re not my therapist… I hope. We’re here to talk about this flaming dumpster of a movie.
Am I being harsh? Probably. But also no.
Mary, our beloved authoress, is coerced into writing a book (because apparently authors need their arms twisted and 2 million dollars shoved down their throats to even consider actually writing something) so she needs to hire a nanny. In comes Grace, a blonde, innocent young woman. Her innocence is illustrated by the super modest, cutesy clothes she wears (even though the skirts always seem to be super short and show off her ass? But totes in an innocent kinda way.)
So right off the bat, it seems to be a setup to a typical trope. If you’ve watched even one thriller in your life about a young, attractive woman situating herself in an older woman’s life, you’ll have some idea what direction this plot is going. And whatever tropes came to mind when I just said that, all I’m going to say is yes. Yes, those tropes. But so much more, and the sad thing is, the more in this case doesn’t make it better.
I want to talk about the seduction. So early on, seduction seems to be a major focus. The BFF suggests Grace is going to seduce Mary’s husband. Mary keeps groping Grace. Grace is doing weird Gracey things. It isn’t long before all the weird attempts at sexy stuff find a direction. Mary decides she wants Grace. Yay Lesbian or Bisexual representation! But not really, because like a lot of things in this movie, it doesn’t exactly go where it’s trying to go.
And in the end, it goes exactly where you expected it to go at the beginning. So the Lesbian stuff was a fake out, I guess? And doesn’t actually end up being important to the plot, even though it’s the entire focus of the first half of the movie.
The LGBT+ fake-out wasn’t my only issue. The dialogue was dull. The main character, Mary, was manipulative, unrelatable, and not interesting. There were actually some kinda hot moments, but the rest was so weird and dull, it was hard to tell if they were actually hot or like a drop of water in the desert situation.
Also, the end of this movie uses some incredibly problematic, tired tropes about mental illness. In 2021, that shit should be dead and buried, honestly. It’s not even shocking, it’s just blatant ignorance at this point.
Seriously, my favourite part of this movie was the scenery. The cinematography was fucking gorgeous. Especially that opening shot with the fog over the lake. Man. I want to live there.
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Sam Clover is an author of M/M dark romance. She swears like a sailor, gobbles up horror movies and m/m books like they’re going out of style, and runs an erotica discord server.
She’s Canadian, pansexual, demi-sexual, atheist, humanist, and loves all things sea-related. Especially pirates… And sea creatures. And Storms, waves, water, seaside villages, weathered wood, sea glass, delicious seaweed, and everything else that ever existed in the ocean at any time.