Every now and again, Netflix delivers a trailer so captivating you think ‘oh man, this is going to be addictive as hell’. Behind Her Eyes, their latest thriller, was one of those to me.
Unfortunately, it’s rare that when this happens your expectations are met. But none of them have downright baffled me the way Behind Her Eyes did.
In the series, single mum Louise (played by Simona Brown) thinks she’s struck lucky when she literally walks into handsome stranger David (Tom Bateman) in the middle of a bar.
Hitting it off right away, things get awkward when he suddenly rebuffs her advances, and the next day she discovers he’s not only her new boss, but he’s married to beautifully devoted wife, Adele (Eve Hewson).
That doesn’t stop them jumping between the sheets the first chance they can though.
Adele, who is seen taking a neverending stream of mystery pills, soon befriends the seemingly magnetic Louise too, apparently oblivious to the fact her new bestie is having it away with her hubby.
But Adele has secrets and a possessiveness of David that doesn’t take long to rear its ugly head, and soon Louise is left wishing she spilled her cocktail over someone else’s husband.
From pretty much the first episode, you’re lead to believe that everybody in this series is an insufferably awful human being, doing terrible things to each other for no real reason.
You can’t root for Louise, who is so self-involved she believes that ‘both of them are happier with her than they are with each other’ as if that means it’s OK to continue her affair. Then there’s David, who seems to be keeping his wife pilled up so he can have sneaky sex sessions with his secretary, but is actually a vacant brain in a good looking body.
Adele, who goes from Black Mirror robot to Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction is also insufferable, but at least seems to be a little more fun about it.
Then, just when you’re wondering how many episodes this will go on for, the show swiftly changes gears, genres and everything at episode five, leaving you wondering what the hell it was you just watched.
The problem with the ‘big twist’ is it takes so long to get there, with the creators thinking they’re darned clever for this Eleventh Hour switcheroo but didn’t leave much in the previous episodes to keep us going.
The show is beautifully made and has this cold colour palette that reminds me of last year’s addictively trashy The Stranger, but it just doesn’t have the same level of self-awareness or level of bonkers.
So what we’re left with is a fair bit of ‘blah’ with a little bit of ‘eh?!’ thrown in.
- The final episode. You can skip to that if you want and could probably pick up the rest of it.
- Eve Hewson is the star of this show, to be fair to her. She’s very good at playing cold and creepy.
Behind Her Eyes Verdict:
Behind Her Eyes just doesn’t know what it wants to be and takes itself far too seriously, resulting in a bit of a muddled mess that could have gotten away with being two episodes shorter.
Eve Hewson is by far the stand out performer of the series, but is given a lot of juicy material to work with compared to the others, whose sole character traits seem to be ‘have affair, feel kind of bad about it, do terrible job of not getting caught’.
As someone who hasn’t read the book, I unfortunately can’t tell you if it lives up to the best-selling reputation that the novel has built.
What I would say is, if you want to watch it, do so blindly – it does make the (albeit weird) twists somewhat worth sticking around for, even if it’s just for the WTF?! factor.
Unfortunately though, with so much going on, and it being so slow, it’s probably one to give a miss overall.
Behind Her Eyes launches February 17 on Netflix.
Credit: Original article published here.