When Crazy's Not So Crazy!
“Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not after you.”
This quote pretty much sums up the movie to the T! It’s also a line from the 1998 Patrick Stewart movie, “Safe House”, a movie where Stewart plays a very paranoid man who is convinced that people are out to kill him and it turns out that despite being strangely paranoid, he was right all along.
That is also what this movie is about, for the most part. Sawyer is a young woman who sees her stalker, David, everywhere she goes. She knows he’s not there, but can’t help seeing him in the faces of people wherever she is. She changes her number, her email, her routine, her employer, etc., in fear that David is lurking somewhere in the shadows.
This prompts her to seek professional help at the Highland Creek Behavioral Center, where after a therapy session, Sawyer unintentionally consents to be committed for 24 hours. While there, she tries to plead her case, but the paranoia causes her to behave and react irrationally and violently, leading to a 7-day hold.
As she is going up to get her meds one night, she comes face to face with her stalker David. When she tries to tell anyone, she is dismissed due to her previous behavior. Sawyer’s lack of credibility gives David full access to Sawyer toward his ultimate goal of spending the rest of his life with her by any means necessary.
I fought with this score a bit, but I settled upon a score of 7. The ending was solid. I have a problem with the story, but it isn’t the primary arc. Sawyer manages to escape the grasp of David and kill him. Ending jumps six months later, when Sawyer has moved on, but believes that she sees David in a fellow customer at the diner. As she approaches the man, knife in hand, she realizes that David isn’t there, drops in the knife, and leaves, showing that even though she personally slit the throat of her stalker-turned-kidnapped, the trauma doesn’t magically go away and I think that was such an important note to add to this film, hence why I went on to mention it.
The story issue I have involves the secondary story that impacts the primary arc, but in such a lazy but important way.
So the primary arc is, as noted above, Sawyer is committed for seven days in a behavioral center. The secondary arc is that this center is allegedly committing insurance fraud by tricking people into staying there and milking their “treatment” until the insurance stops paying, suddenly declaring that they’re better. This is how Sawyer unintentionally is made to stay there.
There’s a patient named Nate who befriends her. Nate says that he’s there for a 4-week drug treatment. Nate has somehow smuggled a cell phone into the center and Sawyer convinces him to allow her to use it to contact her mother for help with both her freedom and her stalker. Once David sees her close they are, he traps Nate in the basement and injects him with Fentanyl, and stages it to look like a suicide via relapse.
The problem is that Nate wasn’t an addict. He was undercover with the news channel doing an investigation of the fraud claims. This explains the cell phone and why he didn’t appear “noticeably crazy” as the other patient characters did. This story arc is so important yet treated in such a way that if it wasn’t there, you wouldn’t notice while also being the catalyst for why Sawyer is there and why she couldn’t escape. I feel like more time could have been spent on the investigation otherwise it just feels like an idea that lead to plot holes that needed to be filled.
As the opening to this review may indicate, it’s not the most original idea, so it got 1 point there and overall, it was an okay movie. I had seen this before but forget until partway through. Altogether, a good movie that could have been better, but was still good.