‘No Exit’ Review: Who’s Bluffing?

As the story of No Exit opens, a group of travellers who have been cut off by the storm meet together at a rest area to wait it out. These five individuals have decided to pass the time playing “Bullshit” till the weather improves. Each player reveals their card and declares it; if their bluff is called, the other players might say “bullshit.”

‘No Exit’ Review

The audience can learn more about the characters through the game, and it also serves as a preview of how viewers will respond to the plot twists and turns in No Exit, which will likely have them shouting “bullshit” at the cards the film is laying down..

‘No Exit’ Review: Who’s Bluffing?

Darby (Havana Rose Liu), who has broken out of her eighth rehab term to visit her ill mother, is the central focus of these five restricted individuals. While travelling through the snow, Darby receives a text message from her sister informing her that their mother doesn’t want to see her.

Darby decides to seek refuge at a rest area with the other stranded motorists rather than try to reverse course or get lost in the snowstorm. Couple Ed and Sandi (played by Dennis Haysbert and Dale Dickey) are also on board; they’re headed to Reno. Also on board are the shifty Lars (David Rysdahl) and the friendly Ash (Danny Ramirez).

Darby has to figure out who kidnapped a little girl (Mila Harris) and how to aid her without putting herself or the girl in danger after he finds her bound and gagged in one of the travellers’ vehicles.

Directed by Damien

Directed by Damien Power, No Exit lays out all the characters and clues of this mystery on the table, before letting things go bananas, much like a thriller from the mid-2000s, like Identity or Vacancy.

The film’s tonal instability, which swings between extremes, prevents No Exit from being a gripping thriller. Initially resembling a Freeform thriller film, the tone soon switches to one of ludicrous, horrific violence that verges on comedy. It’s one thing to give readers a sense of anticipation by showing them the quiet before the storm, but it’s quite another to make such a sudden shift if all it serves as is an explosive climax.

No Exit also makes too many implausible leaps of logic and unnecessary coincidences, making for an experience that is more comical than thrilling. No Exit, by Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari and based on a novel by the same name by Taylor Adams, solves its central mystery somewhat swiftly, shifting the attention to Darby’s reaction to the circumstance rather than the identity of the killer.


Still, the third act is where the plot twists and aggressively ludicrous violence begin to disrupt the movie’s natural progression. The film’s success is undermined by a series of unexpected turns, from character disclosures to the almost effective use of narcotics as a means of escape.

Overall, though, No Exit isn’t quite as thrilling or scary as it aspires to be and instead just feels like a hodgepodge of ideas. The stiff writing by Barrer and Ferrari does not help any of its characters and accomplishes little of value with Darby’s substance problem.

The writing undermines what could have been a nice little mystery of a picture by making certain people seem more suspect and obvious as perpetrators than they really should, and it’s a shame to watch talented actors like Haysbert and Dickey try to make such awkward dialogue work.

Last Words

No Exit starts out as a good plot that is mildly frightening and has claustrophobic moments. However, in the film’s final act, No Exit abandons all sense of propriety and goes completely off the rails, with crazy plot twists, ridiculously exaggerated and comical violence, and a questionable treatment of Darby’s addiction. At first, No Exit follows its original plan, but Power’s adaptation ultimately fails to convince with its ridiculous climax.

Grade: C