The art of suspense should be executed with subtlety, rhythm and precision.
However, Peter Sullivan's Secret Obsession attempts to thrust you into the deep end from the very first scene with flashing lights and the '10 horrified faces of Brenda Song' (Jennifer).
But don't let that put you off. For everything the film lacks in cheap screenplay and languishing action scenes, a gripping storyline prevails.
The film will anger you through its reliance on flashbacks and dramatic music yet thanks to meaningful characters and hooking twists, Secret Obsession excels where many 2019 films don't.
If you're keen to indulge in a night of scrutinising characters and can head into the film well aware that the genre will continue to be stuck on knock-off versions of Gone Girl for some time... login to Netflix now.
Mike Vogel very almost dazzles
The success of Mystery films like Secret Obsession often come down to the quality and depth of its characters.
Mike Vogel very almost dazzles in his performance as the male lead (Russell Williams).
He is convincing in almost every aspect of his character - sweet yet smarmy, honest with secrets to hide and, to top it all off, the brash unpredictability of a man you fail to understand.
Sure, Mike's reliance on certain psychological cues that indicate a lie isn't exactly A-grade acting - don't count how many times he nudges the rim of his wispy glasses - but it's a solid performance nonetheless.
Unravelling the mystery - no spoilers!
The intertwined storyline of Detective Frank Page (Dennis Haysbert) is fed into the movie as subtlety as a brick meeting a window. For the non-movie buffs, though, it's a welcome layer that gives you a clear and defined character to trust and support.
After all, he's just a hardened cop doing his job... he's "not into beaches".
As the story unravels, your patience for the truth will wear thin. But be-warned, this isn't the type of movie you should heave the Netflix loading bar forward in order to skip to the best bits.
You'll only put yourself at risk of ruining the entire storyline.
Secret Obsession | Review and rating
Secret Obsession often gets its rhythm and pace frustratingly wrong with cheap screenplay that fails to flatter and predictably feeble 'whack em' on the ed' scenes.
But through the three protagonist characters, the film proves gripping and believable, climaxing with scenes far darker and sinister than you may have first anticipated.
Netflix: Secret Obsession - 3/5
Have something to tell us about this article?