I love thrillers, especially when women in jeopardy are involved. Enough and Sleeping with the Enemy come to mind. There’s something about these movies that make the hairs on the back of my neck start rising and my pulse quicken. That’s why I was so excited to see Fatal Affair starring Nia Long, Omar Epps and Stephen Bishop. Unfortunately, although the actors deliver believable performances, this movie failed to evoke my usual reaction to films of this genre.
However, Long (Keanu) earned my favorable attention right away. She’s such a natural on screen. As Ellie, a successful lawyer, wife and mother, she seemed like someone I would like as a friend. – good-natured, considerate, and reliable. When Ellie finds out that David (Epps) has been hired at her firm, she’s surprised because he was a close friend of hers in college. She appears happy to see David, and they go out to “catch up” with each other. That session becomes a sexual situation, which Ellie regrets -- but too late to discourage David.
The rest of the film deals with David’s unappreciated efforts to win Ellie, and how Ellie tries to stop him. We also get to see the depths of David’s anger and the dreadful things he’s done in the past.
A woman played by Nia Long
believes she’s done something quite wrong.
She hopes her hubby never hears.
for that would cause much more than tears.
She loves her husband. He’s a dear.
She doesn’t want to make him fear.
But the man who’s obsessed with her
will never give up -- that’s for sure.
Though repetition dampens the chills,
“Fatal Affair” boasts a few thrills.
Too many cuts to ocean waves.
Yet acting almost this film saves.
As David, Epps (Traffik) makes this villain look like such a nice guy in the beginning -- and also does a good job projecting the frightening nature of his character’s violent side. Stephen Bishop (Moneyball), as Ellie’s husband, offers a calm contrast to Epps’ scary performance. He brings a gentle charisma to this important role.
Ellie’s lovely new house on the beach adds to Fatal Affair’s visual appeal, but showing the ocean over and over again in between sequences adds nothing to the story. Still, I think fans of Nia Long, Omar Epps and/or Stephen Bishop should definitely check it out.
(Released by Netflix. Rated TV-MA by MPAA.)
Director: Peter Sullivan
Writers: Peter Sullivan and Rasheeda Garner
Story by: Peter Sullivan and Jeffrey Schenck