Movie Review: 'An Affair To Die For' Is An Engaging Saturday Night Thriller

An Affair To Die For Titus Welliver Russell Claire Forlani Holly Jake Abel Everett
The subgenre of affair-driven drama meets suspenseful thriller in “An Affair to Die For.” It picks up with Claire Forlani's Holly heading to meet her lover for a weekend getaway. Clueless, that what actually awaits her is something far from frolic-filled.

Claire’s husband, Russell (Titus Welliver) chats her up on the way there with casual banter that harkens to what many can relate to in their day-to-day. Her husband is clearly trying to bridge the gap of a divide that's contents he seems suspicious of. His guilt-free wife remains undeterred.

After arriving, Holly basks in the blissful getaway her lover has planned, which includes some fancy and familiar things a la “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Imagery that adds an edge to things. That is when “An Affair to Die For” takes a dark turn, and Holly's dream turns into a nightmare.

As a mystery is ignited, that will turn lover-against-lover in this tale of dishonesty, distrust, and betrayal. Someone is out to terrorize the adulterous Holly and Everett (Jake Abel, “The Host”), who is also married. Viewers are privy to both being told everything is not as it seems as their life-and-death struggle unfolds.

“An Affair to Die For” has a lot going for it. Director Vรญctor Garcรญa harnesses a complicated web of deceit that unravels at a riveting pace after the setup is put in place. Elliott San's script probing some interesting psychological elements that many movies have dared not tread.

You get the usual empathy for cheaters. All while exploring their selfish motivations for such a betrayal. Much like “Fatal Attraction;” “An Affair to Die For” is a cautionary tale about what could happen as a result. More to that point, it asks if two people who know they are betraying their spouses can really trust a fellow traitor.

They already know something about each other their husband/wife does not. That they cannot be trusted. “An Affair to Die For” leverages that and takes it to its next conclusion. Distrust between the main characters is a symptom of their relationship, which has been born from treachery. It makes their ability to navigate their scary circumstances together, difficult.

Having protagonists with antagonistic traits is a currently common trend. Acknowledging them for what they actually are is not as frequent. What Holly and her lover, Everett, try to maneuver is a solvable mystery, yet no less engaging because the movie embraces the truth about their relationship.

Claire Forlani and Jake Abel both give believable turns as the terrified leads. Forlani flawlessly oscillating between alarm and determination. Abel giving the movie equal teeth as the enigmatic Everett.

The idea of this unknown assailant creating a scenario that has the cheating couple turn against each other is a psychological punishment that adds an unusual layer to things. As a fan of drama, suspense, and thrillers, there is a sense of having seen it all, and hoping for something that proves me wrong.

“An Affair to Die For” switches thing up for something fresh. There is one thing that would have heightened its overall personal impact. Had it held back from showing so much of its hand earlier on, the overarching mystery that drives the second half would have been even more suspenseful.

That said, if you enjoyed “The Invisible Guest/Contratiempo,” the underrated thriller “Derailed,” or the 2009 Brittany Murphy starrer “Across the Hall,” this is another movie worth adding to your watchlist. As “An Affair to Die For” takes full advantage of the hotel mystery subgenre while not getting claustrophobic with its setting.

Hopefully, there will be more movies along these lines making a resurgence. The '90s and early '2000s were filled with them before the popularity of the thriller started to drift off. “An Affair to Die For” joins recent entries in serving as a reminder of why it should return in full force. At their core, they are far too entertaining.

Rating: 6/10

“An Affair to Die For” is currently streaming on Netflix.

[Featured Image by Aqute Media]