What Lies Ahead review: Slow burn thriller with a creative twist

What Lies Ahead -- Acquired via Sicily Publicity
What Lies Ahead -- Acquired via Sicily Publicity /

What Lies Ahead is out on digital and DVD. Starring Rumer Willis and Emma Dumont, is it worth your time? It really depends on what you want to gain from a thriller. Here’s my honest review of the movie.

Emma Dumont and Rumer Willis take center stage in What Lies Ahead. While there are the odd other characters that show up, this is all about the two of them. Dumont is Jessica, a quiet and shy college girl who has agreed to help her boyfriend’s sister move to New York. It’s a 900-mile drive with Willis’ Raven but what could possibly go wrong?

Well, in a sense, it’s not that anything goes wrong. They don’t have car trouble, they don’t get lost, there’s none of the usual drama. This is a thriller that initially seems light but after the first hour, gets extremely dark. It takes a huge leap that, really, could have done with happening much earlier in the movie.

More from Movies

At first, there are just subtle things that happen. Jessica’s phone goes missing and Raven is super shady about letting Jessica called Kyle, Jessica’s boyfriend and Raven’s sister. If you think there’s a shady reason for Raven not letting Jessica into the house, well, you’ll be right but I won’t share what it is. Just listen to the reason why Raven “can’t” let Jessica in.

It is a slow burn thriller. As I mentioned, it takes an hour to get to the big twist but there are little hints along the way. The downside is there’s only 30 minutes or so left of the movie, which means there’s a huge jump in the pace. Because of how much time was spent setting up this twist, there isn’t enough time to fully see it through.

And it’s a shame. Willis and Dumont pull you into the movie. They do an excellent job making it unnecessary to have too many extra characters. The two actresses play excellent against each other and they’re nothing like their characters in Empire and The Gifted, showing just how talented they both are.

What Lies Ahead — Acquired via Sicily Publicity
What Lies Ahead — Acquired via Sicily Publicity /

The writing is the part that’s a letdown. Too much time is spent on conversations in a car — conversations that don’t really delve into too much or give too many clues. By the time it got to the climactic ending, it was poorly developed. It fell flat when I should have been on the edge of my seat rooting for Jessica.

Despite all the thrillers I’ve seen, I didn’t see the twist coming. That was the part cleverly written and developed and I would have loved for more focus on that.

But if you love thrillers that are slow burns and leave you wondering what will happen next, What Lies Ahead is for you. If you want something that keeps you glued to the edge of your seat, it may not quite be enough.

B-. Emma Dumont and Rumer Willis held their own. Creative twist but poor pacing.. What Lies Ahead. .

Next. 101 TV shows to watch before you die. dark

Have you watched What Lies Ahead? What do you think of the movie? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

What Lies Ahead is now available on VOD and DVD.