Deadly Illusions makes your mind spin for all the wrong reasons

I don’t review Western content on this blog… but since I ended up wasting a good portion of my time watching Deadly Illusions, I might as well write and get some traffic out of it.

Spoilers ahead.

Synopsis

A best-selling novelist hires a nanny, Grace, to look after her children and simultaneously cures her writer’s block. Then, however, the line between fiction and reality starts to blur.

Thoughts

I went into this movie for the premise. But what in the world was that execution? I was confused for the entire film.

It’s not a surprise that Grace is the antagonist of this movie. I expected that, at least. But I was not expecting her to have a dissociative identity disorder (DID) due to the abuse she suffered in her childhood.

In the beginning, Grace sets herself as an innocent, good-girl character who develops a crush(?) on Mary, her employer. And, her other promiscuous and aggressive self, Margaret, doesn’t appear until halfway through the movie when she seduces Tom, Mary’s husband. 

The sexual encounter between Tom and Margaret was through Mary’s “nightmare,” which was never confirmed until Tom admitted he cheated after Mary randomly and rudely confronts Grace. By then, Mary had already cheated on her husband… with Grace.

What was Grace’s motive? Near the end of the movie, Grace was apparently stalking Mary for whatever reason. Grace pretends to be an employee and fake her way through her “interview” with Mary. And for what? No effing idea.

Besides the lack of purpose of this movie, Mary was such an entitled bitch. Let me explain.

First, Mary really took Grace for granted; Grace was pretty much her maid throughout the film. It was apparent that Grace felt some kind of attraction to Mary, but it seemed like she just played around with her. Their dynamic was just uncomfortable.

Second, she dares to tell off her long-time friend and therapist, Elaine, when she senses something off with Grace. Elaine ends up murdered. But by who? Well, it’s hinted that it’s Mary. But, you could also argue that it was Grace. Who knows?

Throughout the film, Mary starts to have erotic visions of Grace; this is where the fiction and reality begin to blur. Therefore, Mary is also suffering from some kind of mental illness. In the end, it’s confirmed after seeing Elaine’s notes on Mary. 

Here’s where it gets problematic: Elaine’s killer was never found. Her murder was there for the extra gore. So… what was the point of her murder? So she won’t leak anything about Mary’s mental illness to anyone else?

It really didn’t help that Elaine was a woman of colour. Her only justice was Mary leaving her a bunch of pathetic flowers and a completed manuscript dedicated to her on her grave. 

Lastly, Tom never knew about Mary’s infidelity. I found it funny that Mary could yell and scream at her husband when she did the exact same thing. When Tom was almost on the verge of death and apologizing for his actions, did Mary come clean? No. The girl just reassured him… because she knows that Grace is “crazy” at that point.

My last negative point about this movie is how it portrayed and handled mental illnesses. 

It seemed like Grace could control Margaret initially, so… why couldn’t she control her at the end? Why did Margaret even come out? From the flashback of Grace’s past, Margaret is supposed to be like Grace’s defence mechanism. But there was no trigger at any point for Margaret to suddenly take control of Grace. Is this how it’s supposed to work? I’m not an expert, but something does not feel right there. 

The movie used mental illness as an excuse to make Grace an antagonist and portray Mary as a victim. That’s it. That’s the story. 

If you’re writing about mental illnesses, at least do your research and write it correctly.

Deadly Illusions is a long-winded film that makes no sense. The writing is terrible, but the directing is also horrendous. Why do we need to see many shots of a lone tree or the ocean? We do not need these pointless shots just for transition or to show Mary’s current mindset. 

I can’t believe this movie was released this year. This is on-par with an M. Night Shyamalan film.

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