Arc Entertainment serves up another slice of thrills and chills with the suspense thriller Something Wicked. Touted as Brittany Murphy’s last performance, it delivers through deliberate psychological missteps and a lingering dark sense of dread that leaves the viewer wondering if all is what it seems. Although it’s not quite up to par with most theatrical releases, it deserves a status a few notches above the Lifetime and TV-movies category it will no doubt be lumped into.
In Something Wicked, a young couple makes their wedding plans shortly after the death of the bride’s parents in a tragic car collision with a train. As they settle into married life, gruesome secrets from their past collide with the present.
Something Wicked achieves what all movies should aim for. It gives audiences a distraction from real life for over ninety minutes through a series of ups and downs and loops and sharp turns that any fan of suspense thrillers will enjoy. I had my suspicions of what might happen in the end, but it didn’t affect the level of entertainment I experienced along the journey.
Something Wicked is rated R for violence, sexuality, and language. Although there are a few sensual moments that get a little steamier than what we see in made-for-TV movies, that’s really the only thing that would push this into R-rated territory. Things never go overboard in the areas of violence and gore.
Brittany Murphy shows great emotional depth as the tortured sister-in-law of the lead character. She switches from grounded psychologist to a helpless, crazed, and empathetic shell with the sense of professionalism you would only hope for in a much more seasoned actor. I don’t know whether it was for the role or not, but her greasy slick-backed hair and pale features matched her character’s agonized and mentally drained personality.
Something Wicked is the equivalent of a Lifetime movie if production and the budget were taken one step further. One or two good twists and a big lie by omission fuel this suspense thriller. A cast who are invested in their characters lends a level of quality to a film that successfully rises above what could have been just another direct-to-DVD casualty. It acts as an acceptable tribute to the late Brittany Murphy, who turns out a fine performance in her last role.