In 'Secret Obsession', newlywed Jennifer (Brenda Song) awakens with amnesia having been hit by a car after running away from a hooded man. Though in recovery, she is physically and psychologically fragile. Fortunately her husband Russell (Mike Vogel - 'The Help') is a constant support to her. When the couple return home from hospital, Jennifer gets flashbacks she can't understand and comes to question her marriage.
Even from the friggin' title of 'Secret Obsession', never mind the premise, you know exactly what you're getting into. It's a camp, overly dramatic, stalker-movie-thriller type thing, and in fairness, such films can be a lot of fun. They're not going for awards and they epitomise cheap thrills. Thus in 'Secret Obsession', you've a film that is predictable and consistently ridiculous. Once you know and have accepted what you're in for, you can relax, because it ends up being highly amusing and, dare I say it, a lot of fun. That is, if you suspend your disbelief and give the filmmakers the benefit of the doubt that they're totally aware of the film's conventionality.
With films like this, you can't rely on the twist to provide entertainment because whether you've seen the trailer - or first ten minutes - you know exactly what's up. With 'Secret Obsession', there couldn't be more signals for what's really going on between the suspicious-in-tone music (which sounds like it's straight from a B movie) and Vogel's acting which is so fake nice guy, it's impossible to buy. Surely this is intentional on director-writer Peter Sullivan's part, right? RIGHT?!
Elsewhere in the cast, Song (who viewers of a certain age will recognise from the Disney Channel series 'The Suite Life of Zack & Cody') delivers a note-perfect performance as the charming but skeptical wife. She also does a decent scream queen as required. Our third main player is Detective Frank Page, played by Dennis Haysbert (President David Palmer from '24'). The character, get this, is buying a cuddly toy for his daughter's birthday when we first see him BUT THERE'S A TWIST. It's not the first cliche in the film either. It's jammers with them, kicking off with a chase scene in the rain and 'getting-better-every-day-montage' when Jennifer's in hospital. Let's not forget the dramatic pauses when taking a phone call, the pointed looks and glances away. There's even a shot of Russell cutting his finger which causes blood to drip in the sink after which THERE'S MUCH MORE BLOOD AND VIOLENCE.
There's also no phone reception or internet in the house. Obviously.
Everything about the film is stupid, obvious and formulaic. As a result, it's hilarious. You couldn't even say whether the acting is good or not, but tonally, in fairness, the cast are right on the button. One ponders whether cult screenings of 'Secret Obsession' akin to 'The Room' might be shown in the future. In any case, it's ideal for a chilled, dumb movie night in with mates or dates. In Netflix it has found the perfect home.