A Simple Favor (2018) - Girl got a gun - 8/10 (20/09/18)
A Simple Favor is a psycho thriller that is very similar to films like Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train. It's a little bit too similar and therefore slightly predictable. However, this movie is still greatly executed and very entertaining. The second and especially the last third are particularly intense.
The opening third slightly overstays its welcome. It has the purpose to introduce the numerous characters but since the very first scene already spoils one of the main characters' disappearance, the audience only waits for this to happen. However, the exposition appropriately introduces the three main characters. We follow the slightly nervous single mother and widow Stephanie who has a passion for activities in her community and especially cooking. She meets the mysterious Emily who is very strict, straightforward and even rude at times but who lives life to the fullest. Her husband Sean is an author with writer's block who madly loves his wife. The first third feels like a slice of life, using humorous and dramatic elements but being somewhat shallow beneath the surface.
The rising action finally starts when Emily disappears from one day to the other. She asked her best friend Stephanie to take her son from school and said she would come pick him up. However, she vanishes without leaving a trace. Emily starts to wonder what might have happened and starts investigating her suspicious employer. She also uses her internet show to ask viewers from around the country for help. The movie that started in a rather light-hearted tone gets a more serious touch here that soon turns sinister.
The climax, falling action and resolution all occur in the film's final third that comes around with several twists, lots of tension and a healthy dose of drama. The last forty minutes or so will keep the audience on the edge of their seats. The final conclusion is slightly disappointing but the build-up is so outstanding that it actually barely matters.
Aside the progressive change from light-hearted comedy drama to sinister psycho thriller, the movie convinces with its clever plot and outstanding acting performances by the three main characters. If you like the aforementioned Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, you can consider A Simple Favor movie of the year material. If you just enjoy twisted psycho thrillers, you will like this gripping film that however lacks some creativity compared to quite similar movies that have been released all too recently.