20th Feb2023

‘The Way Out’ VOD Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Sherri Shepherd, Mike Manning, Ashleigh Murray, Jonny Beauchamp | Written and Directed by Barry Jay

A young man has to deal with the loss of his abusive father while stuck in his dead end job and trying to remain sober. He has help from his AA sponsor and his best friend but when a new guy enters his life full of promises and seemingly good advice, he can’t help in becoming a little infatuated. And this infatuation leads to some unwanted situations in this psychological thriller.

The Way Out comes from Terror Films, a company I generally enjoy but my general expectations are that their movies will be low-budget, sometimes amateur, horror movies that I will mostly have fun with. So The Way Out stuck out like a sore thumb immediately by just looking good and having clearly experienced actors in the lead roles. The performances are strong from the main cast and it obviously helps with every film but if you’re going to make some sort of genre movie without heaps of gore or scares, then the acting needs to impress, and here, it does.

Jonny Beauchamp (Penny Dreadful) plays Alex, the man who loses his father. And what Beauchamp does well is be both believable as a kind of introvert who is unlikely to stand up for himself or others and then transforming, as the movie goes on, to a person who will happily start a fight. The character progression works well both in the script and in how he delivers it.

He is helped along on this journey by Mike Manning (This Is Us, Days of Our Lives) who plays Shane, the guy who enters his life suddenly. Manning is great as a character who the audience do not trust at all but it’s easy to see why Alex does. Alongside these two leads, Sherri Shepard (the AA sponsor) and Ashleigh Murray (the best friend) both put in good supporting performances. Having good, experienced actors just puts the movie in a better position and elevates the, occasionally predictable, script.

The character’s interaction and the progression of Alex’s story is what keep the movie going. As mentioned previously, this is a psychological thriller. There are a couple of murder scenes but this film isn’t about the gore or jump scares, it tries to keep its focus on Alex’s story. But in truth, that is its downfall too. Sometimes, this feels like a Channel 5 daytime/Hallmark movie. If it wasn’t for the occasional sight of blood, it could easily be seen as one. The dialogue just becomes a little bit too cheesy occasionally and there are no real surprises here. It is mostly very predictable. Everything feels a little too familiar – the alcoholic characters and the ups and downs in their recoveries, the best friend who is suspicious of the newcomer but not believed and of course the newcomer/boyfriend who seems not quite okay and ends up being exactly that. If you’ve watched half as many films as I have, you know where this is leading every step of the way.

But despite this, I enjoyed The Way Out. It runs along at a good pace, performances are good and sometimes it’s okay that the filmmakers aren’t throwing surprises at you. Don’t go expecting anything new and The Way Out will take you on an enjoyable ride.

The Way Out is on Digital Platforms now, from Terror Films


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