DIRECTOR: Jonathan Baker
WRITER: Chloe King
Natalie Eva Marie
Tyler Jon Olsen
James Van Patten
Katie is a young mother who has escaped her abusive past. When she relocates to a new town, she meets Angela and Brian. A wealthy couple who have their own child and are struggling to have a second child due to issues with Angela being unable to conceive. They end up hiring Katie as their live-in nanny and surrogate. Soon Angela begins to notice that Katie has an unhealthy obsession with Angela and Brian's own daughter and their baby that she is carrying.
It's probably no secret that I have my very own infatuation with films that deal with obsession, jealousy, and women and men scorned. I think my love for the sub-genre started when my father and I sat down one night to watch Single White Female. I can still remember being a child and watching Jennifer Jason Leigh letting Bridget Fonda's puppy fall out of an apartment window. It horrified me at a young age. Still one of the movies that have stayed with me all these years.
Inconceivable joins a long line of movies where we see a woman scorned who ends up infiltrating a happy family. Regarding the movie's story. This falls somewhere between Fatal Attraction and The Hand That Rocks The Cradle. Only, this film doesn't reach the same heights of those two movies. While this film has several things going for it, it is sadly not enough to save this film from following the same formula that most of these obsession film stick to, which is a shame.
My favourite thing about Inconceivable is Gina Gershon. Had this movie not secured her casting and found a lesser actress in the lead role. The weight of the story may have been a lot less impactful. This is Gina Gershon's movie. You have Nicolas Cage playing her husband who is known for being an actor who chews the scenery, and he is even delivering a subtle performance here. Gina Gershon is one of those genuinely underrated actresses that we don't talk about enough.
We also have the legendary Faye Dunaway who stars in a supporting role in the film. You can always have Faye Dunaway come in for a few days work, and she will add a little class to the insipid movies. Watching Gina Gershon act alongside Faye Dunaway was one of the highlights of the movie for me. Also watching Faye have to converse with Nicholas Cage like she didn't wish for someone to yell 'CUT!' on set so she could return to her trailer was worth the price alone. You know that she knows that she's above this material.
Now we come to the problems of Inconceivable. Firstly, the story feels like it could be on the Lifetime network. While the movie is well shot and you can tell it has a decent budget behind it. The story itself feels like one of the many obsession based films that make their way onto the Lifetime channel. I don't mind the odd midday movie, but it's hard to find one of these films that break new ground. Gone Girl was the last of these movies to honestly surprise me.
There is one moment in the third act of the movie where I thought they had gone and killed off one of the central characters. The moment was played as a 'shock' moment, and it worked. I thought they'd delivered a worthy gut-punch that felt incredibly dark. Sadly, minutes later, it's revealed to be a ruse. It's like they folded to studio pressure or a typical happy ending. It turns into exactly what the rest of these films turn into, and I'd have liked it more if they kept it dark. It would have felt different and original.
Sadly, Inconceivable lacks in both suspense and tension. While the film hints at the sexual tension between Nicky Whalen and Nicolas Cage, It never really goes all the way with it. It feels like they kept hinting at it but chose to back off every time. The final showdown between the three lead characters also feels anticlimactic. There is a little struggle and a thirty-second fight, and it ends. It feels like they could have taken this a lot further and it would have been more enjoyable.
Lastly, I wanted to talk about the entire backstory on Nicky Whalen's Katie. I think it could have been fleshed out a bit more. While the movie opens with a scene where we see Katie kill a man and we get several hints as to why she is mentally unstable and why she has kidnapped a child and wants Angela and Brian's child for herself. It seems like a pretty weak motive in the end. To destroy an entire family due to you believing that they aren't spending enough time with the child seems really flimsy.
DEATH TOLL: 3
BLOOD AND GORE:
- A man is stabbed in the stomach twice.
- A woman is hit in the head with a rock and drowned in a lake.
- A woman's head is repeatedly smashed against a bathtub.
- A woman's head is pushed underwater and drowned.
- A woman is stabbed in her pregnant belly.
- A woman cuts her hand open on a window seal.
- A woman is stabbed in the stomach.
I'm a big fan of obsession based thrillers. I've made no secret about that on the blog. In fact, I think I've reviewed about five of them just this year alone. So Inconceivable joins a long list of movies and sadly doesn't bring anything new to the table. The film, unfortunately, can't be saved by solid performances from both Gina Gershon and Faye Dunaway. Given some more exposition and to not feel like the film backs off some of the darker elements, this may have been a more enjoyable thriller.