If you are looking for a good group movie experience, filled with twists, turns, and surprises, then check out No Good Deed. Every once in a while, there comes a good suspense movie that does well in a date or group setting. With it’s quick pacing and ability to hook the audience within the first five minutes, this film will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. A good horror film (yes, this falls into that genre), possess the ability to consistently keep the audience in a state of anticipation for what is to come or in a state of disorder. The classic format of a horror movie is order, disorder, and order again. In recent times, it is not surprising when a horror movie follows order then disorder. And, in less than an hour and a half, No Good Deed its all the pacing points for proper structure.
No Good Deed is a film about an escaped convict named Collin, played by Idris Elba, who wrecks his truck, during a storm, and asks to use the phone at the house belonging to Terri, played by Taraji P. Henson. Generous, but unsuspecting Terri invites him into her home and through a series of events, he terrorizes Terri and her two children. Seemingly cut off from the world, and having to protect her children first, Terri must find a way to escape from the clutches of the malevolent presence of and psychologically unstable Collin.
This is a good example of a film that truly belongs on television–specifically Lifetime or Lifetime Movie Network. It’s not that it’s a bad movie–quite the opposite–it’s an enjoyable movie-going experience; but, the quick pace, lack of exposition, and cliche turning points lends this movie to be more effective on a network versus a movie theatre. In other words, No Good Deed lacks the cinematic feel of a film but possesses an excellent television movie feel. It’s almost as though the producers originally had an idea for a TV movie that they decided, by throwing some notable actors in it, that it could be a theatrical release instead of on CBS (owned by Sony) or Lifetime.
**SPOILER ALERT** In order to discuss further some of the negative critiques of the film, it is necessary to talk about elements that could spoil the film for those who intend to watch it. If need be, you can skip to the last paragraph.
Although, there are many troubling issues with the writing, the one issue that seems to be the most bizarre and overlooked by the writers is the fact that the affair Jeffrey (Terri’s husband) is having with the, now, deceased Alexis (former fiancé of Collin) was supposed to be happening at a hotel. Ordinarily, this would be commonplace for an affair; but, by way of the fateful note that Jeffrey left for Alexis on her pillow, we know that they were clearly sleeping together at her house. Why now the need for a hotel??? Another error is the fact that Collin heads to Jeffrey’s house to seek revenge on him. But how the hell was he supposed to know that Jeffrey was or wasn’t going to be home? Seems to me, that some of the events and turning points were nearly forced to keep the quick pacing to tell the story in under an hour and a half.
All-in-all, No Good Deed makes for an enjoyable movie experience with your friends. If you have one of those free passes to your local theatre, this would be a perfect movie for the free pass because if has the TV flair to the plot and production value.