Netflix UK film review: Mercy
Quizzical looks to screen4
Ruby | On 29, Nov 2016
Director: Chris Sparling
Cast: James Wolk, Caitlin Fitzgerald, Tom Lipinski, Constance Barron
Watch Mercy online in the UK: Netflix
A Netflix Original film is the new Straight to DVD movie. Some are lagging behind the Netflix Original television shows, which have had huge acclaim. Mercy is one of them.
The film starts out as a family drama, where the four sons of Grace (Constance Barron) – the lady hooked up to her life saving equipment upstairs – come home to say their last goodbyes. Both sets of brothers are half-siblings, all with their own agendas and back-stories, which set up this unusual situation of how the inheritance is split, or so we believe.
From drama to thriller, as we witness a home invasion by two masked assailants, who suggest to the sons that they should perform a mercy killing to put the mother out of her pain, but, as the film progresses, it is clear that the invaders are not necessarily whom the brothers think they might be. Mercy does keep you guessing but feels clumsy and misleading at times, as it sets up a scenario that bumps into a plot twist later down the line.
As the night draws to a conclusion, we see the same story from a different perspective, namely that of the other set of brothers, which ultimately switches the story but not in a clear and concise way. One of the brother’s girlfriends, Melissa (played by Masters of Sex’s Caitlin Fitzgerald) tags along, but her role sadly fails to deliver any participation of note.
Writer/Director Chris Sparling (writer of Buried and Sea of Trees), in only his third outing as a director, makes something we want to look at (special mention goes to cinematographer Luca Del Puppo) but does not do a great job in explaining the whole story. Set solely within the confines of the house and surrounding land, the whole movie is not as contained as Buried and fails to capture the intensity of the situation. The result make for a confusing watch, leaving many questions unanswered. Ultimately unsatisfying, this is a Netflix Original movie, but not one of the good ones.
Mercy is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £9.99 monthly subscription.