Review of Netflix home invasion thriller ‘Windfall’

April 2, 2022 Mario Bautista 1025 views

Windfall1THERE have been many movies titled “Windfall”, and also a TV series, so why the makers of this new Netflix movie chose to use it again is beyond us. This is directed by Charlie McDowell, the son of actors Mary Steenburgen and Malcolm McDowell, who, from the start, should have realized that the three main characters in his movie are all just plain unsympathetic and uninteresting.

Some critics are calling it Hitchcockian but, excuse me, Alfred Hitchcock should feel insulted and must be turning in his grave. We first see a man (Jason Segel, best known for “How I Met Your Mother”), who will be unnamed all throughout the movie, inside a beautiful vacation home in the mountains.

This is the only setting all throughout the movie and it looks like it was shot down during the pandemic on a lock in set up. For about ten minutes, we see no one but him doing nothing, just moping around and opening drawers so we know he’s a burglar out to rob the place.

Then the rich owner of the place (Jesse Plemons, “Power of the Dog”) and his beautiful young trophy wife (Lily Collins, “Emily in Paris”), both also unnamed, arrive and eventually see him. At this point, the movie turns into a talky gabfest. The burglar later asks for half a million dollars but the rich man’s secretary says it will take a while to get and deliver such an amount.

So the three of them just hang out and tell stories, with Jason Segel pointing a gun at the couple every now and then. At some point, they even get to watch the comedy “Three Amigos” and they do look like three goofy friends. It’s so freaky that the three actors have to do their persuasive best to show us that the silly situation is really happening. The premise could have been played for laughs, but none come. The robber doesn’t seem to be threatening and one time, the self-centered Plemons even tells him: “I’ve been helping you to rob us.” He even asks his wife: “Why do we keep pretending that this guy is a threat?”

And yes, you wonder why the couple allows him to dominate them for as long as it takes when there were even many chances for them to escape. Soon, all the talking reveals cracks in the couple’s relationship and some of the truths that came out are something so bad that it might destroy their marriage.

The movie runs for only an hour and a half but it seems longer as the scenes are quite laborious and cumbersome. The script is so dumb it never becomes close to being engaging at any point.

Movies set only in one location would rely best on a well written script to keep the audience hooked, but the dull script of this movie (co-written by the director with three other writers) just cannot keep the viewer’s attention. “Windfall” means an unexpected arrival of good luck. Alas, us viewers have no such luck at all with this less than mediocre movie!