You’ll Never Find Me REVIEW – Lost in Execution

You'll Never Find Me
You'll Never Find Me

You’ll Never Find Me is a film that tries far too hard to be more than it actually is. At its core, it’s a simple thriller about deciding whether to trust a stranger in a stressful situation. Unfortunately, the movie wants to impress its audience so badly, it needlessly complicates itself and its premise ends up feeling like nothing more than a gimmick.

Starring only two characters for the majority of its runtime, You’ll Never Find Me takes place in a caravan where two people are forced to be alone together due to a heavy storm outside. The two are Patrick (Brendan Rock), the owner of the caravan, and a woman (Jordan Cowan) who showed up suddenly, begging for shelter from the storm. The audience has no clue who’s in danger, if anyone even is, and when that danger will show itself the more the stormy night goes on.

From that synopsis alone, you’ve probably already guessed an immediate problem: how are we meant to get invested in a protagonist if we don’t even know who the protagonist is? So much of horror is fearing for a character, but since we don’t know who’s the threat in this movie and who isn’t, the biggest emotion elicited in many of the suspenseful scenes isn’t fear, it’s confusion.

The film seems to be going for the effect of being scared of and for a character at the same time, but instead of doubling the fear, the contrast almost cancels it out, especially with how long they stretch this gimmick out. Admittedly, the “who do you trust” premise is fun at first due to its uniqueness, but the more the film goes on, the more you realize you know virtually nothing about these two characters.

Every claim they make about themselves comes with the baggage of it possibly being a lie, so by the movie’s midpoint, you feel like your knowledge of these characters hasn’t grown at all. The gimmick could’ve worked better had we known some truths about either of the two beforehand, but the movie wants you to be doubtful of every word they say, so it’s impossible to ignore the fourth wall between you and the film.

It doesn’t help, either, that the first two acts are ridiculously uneventful. They’re mostly just these two characters talking to each other in a tiny caravan, all while looking at each other with suspicious eyes. The conversations, too, are so insubstantial. They go from tedious politeness like asking to borrow a phone, to laughably big discussions about life, dreams, and the past.

“No one tells you that fear and excitement are identical emotions,” says one character to another not even an hour after their first interaction. These characters just met, and the only reason they did so was because of a storm. Do they have these soliloquies with every new acquaintance? These conversations come across as forced and unbelievable, and they don’t make either character look more threatening, just pretentious.

That said, there’s some very good camera work in this film, and considering they’re almost the only two on screen, Brendan Rock and Jordan Cowan both give good enough performances despite the weak material they’re given. Ultimately, You’ll Never Find Me feels more fit to be a short film than a feature-length one, and while its ambitions are commendable, they also end up holding back the film rather than elevating it.

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You'll Never Find Me
You’ll Never Find Me prioritizes gimmicks over a compelling narrative, resulting in a slog that’s seemingly interested in keeping the audience as much of an outsider to the story as possible.