Deadly Illusions: A Lackluster, Confusing Thriller


Deadly Illusions covers the story of Mary and her nanny, Grace and features several major plot-twists.

Leidi-Di Salcedo-Urena, Staff Writer

Release Date, Platform: Mar. 18 on Netflix

Director: Anna Elizabeth James

Cast: Greer Grammer (Grace), Kristin Davis (Mary Morrison), Dermot Mulroney (Ton Morrison, Shanola Hampton (Elaine).

MPAA Rating: R (sexual content/nudity, blood, violence, language)

Our Rating: D-

After its initial release, “Deadly Illusions” immediately jumped to the top of Netflix’s trending chart. It follows Mary, a best-selling author currently working on her second thriller book, who hires a nanny so she could focus on her work. Hiring that nanny ends up being the worst mistake because the nanny, Grace, is actually a crazed psychopath who frames Mary for murder. While the plotline certainly sounds interesting, the movie was poorly executed and just ended up being a weird mishmash of weird plot segments and confusing scenes.

This movie is a confusing mess. The plot is not well-defined or constructed and at some points it just… perplexing. It starts off as a film about a woman who hired a nanny to concentrate more on her writing. She begins to like her nanny, but it turns out that the nanny is absolutely insane and wants to ruin her. The film just has so many loops and turns that by the end, the audience does not know what they just watched. At certain points, it is not clear whether or not the scenes actually happened or if they are a fragment of Mary’s imagination.

“Deadly Illusions” is also a strangely erotic film. While it is unclear whether certain scenarios actually happened, both Mary and Grace were predatory in their sexual advances. While Grace is meant to be our main antagonist and the villain of this film, Mary using her position to try to get “favors” from her much younger and much more naive employee was pretty uncomfortable to watch, especially considering she was married. It all felt weird and wildly uncomfortable to watch.

“My least favorite part of this was the whole inappropriate scene. They were really weird and uncomfortable,” freshman Carlos Calderon said.

Mental illness somewhat makes an appearance in “Deadly Illusions” and is alluded to in the title. When watching the film though, it seemed to be more of an accessory to justify all the weird things happening. Mary is psychotic; she cannot tell the difference between the plotline between the book she is writing and reality. Grace is psychopathic as well; her main goal is to make the entire family suffer. Mental illness is just portrayed terribly, and it is actually quite sad because if they had taken a slightly different angle, the movie would have been better. It went unaddressed for 99 percent of the film and does not end on a good note.

“Deadly Illusions” asks many questions, but does not provide an answer for a single one. The idea seemed well enough but the way it was executed and the way the movie played it, it was just lackluster, mediocre, and confusing. At the end, the audience cannot help just wonder, “What was the point? What even is going on? What does the ending even mean? Was the whole movie just a fragment of Mary’s delusions?” Overall, it is just a barely decent film that just makes everyone wonder, “Why?”