Before watching the No Exit, I’d read the book. It definitely influenced my opinion of the movie. Personally, I prefer the book but I enjoyed both and I’m glad I sat down to watch this adaptation. For those who don’t know. No Exit follows Darby who is forced to take refuge at a rest stop during a blizzard. There she meets four strangers and finds evidence that one of them may have kidnapped a child.
Now, there are some differences between the book and the movie so I would say it’s worth checking out both, however, at its core, the plot is essentially the same whether you read the book or watch the movie.
That being said, there are some good changes that make the story feel tighter and the characters more believable in the movie and, of course, there are things that are cut, shortened, or combined to fit with the restraints of visual media as opposed to written text. I found these changes helped to make better sense of Darby’s motivations throughout the movie as well as making sure certain qualities and abilities were well-suited and believable. Changes throughout also helped to cut down on the number of twists and turns. While most of them do still appear in the movie, they often happen quickly which helps it to feel less dragged out.
Unfortunately, like with any adaption, there are downsides. There’s less chance to get to know all the characters or their varying dynamics. It’s a short and fast-paced movie for the most part so it’s not surprising that this is the case, however, I found that I wasn’t really rooting for anyone in the movie — nor did I feel any particular way when we found out new information about them — and if it wasn’t for the book, I most likely would not have cared at all about most, if not all, of the characters.
I do think it relied a bit too much on the setting and plot while leaving characters behind. Considering what the story is about, I would say that the characters are very important and it makes the mystery (and its resolution) a lot less impactful because of the limited information we’re given. Any satisfaction we do get comes mostly from the action. None of this necessarily makes it a bad movie. As I said, it’s short and mostly fast-paced. It’s meant to thrill, which it manages to do.
At the end of the day, if you’re looking for a fun, action-packed thriller then No Exit can certainly provide that for you. It’s by no means a masterpiece but it is an entertaining watch. One other thing I’d also like to add is how wonderful the casting is, everyone did a fantastic job.
Rating: ★★★ /5