Movie Review: Playdate (2012)

Synopsis: Emily Valentine decides to take a leave of absence from work and spend more time at home with her husband and daughter. When a single mom, Tamara, moves in next door with her two sons, she thinks there's something "off" about the new family, especially when she notices bruises on both of the boys and her daughter is pushed and breaks her arm during a playdate with the youngest of the two boys. Despite her husband believing she is just bored and missing work, she begins digging deeper and puts her family in danger.

Who's in it? The movie stars Marguerite Moreau, Richard Ruccolo, Abby Brammell, Natalie Alyn Lind, Julien Dean Lacroix and Aidan Potter.

Review: My wife and I finally had a night free of skating/dance and other parental commitments and, since I'm putting off mowing the lawn until this weekend, we had time to make grilled zucchini pizzas and watch a movie together.

I recently added a few movies to my Netflix list. When choosing between them last night, I picked this one primarily because it was the shortest (my wife is usually tired after working all day and I wanted to make sure we were done watching it before she started to fall asleep).

This movie originally made my list because it was one of the ones Netflix recommended. I decided to listen to the advice but also had somewhat tempered expectations because, at least from the description, it didn't sound like it was going to be anything special. As it turns out, my prediction was correct.

I think the biggest problem with this movie is it is very predictable. It makes a serious attempt to throw a couple red herrings at the viewer but it wasn't too difficult to figure out which member of the new family was the one that should be feared. This meant the surprise twists just weren't all that surprising.

The movie also re-uses plot points that have been used dozens of times before. As soon as we saw the family had a dog, my wife and I both correctly predicted it would be killed (or, at minimum, seriously hurt) at some point during the movie. Not to mention the husband (Ruccolo) is too busy flirting with Tamara (Brammell) to pay any attention to Emily's (Moreau) fears and the local detective (Darren Goldstein) doesn't bother doing any research on the family until the very end, despite being called to an incident that would justify it.

I also found I hated the way the movie ended, mostly because it leaves the viewer with no answers about what happened to Tamara and her two boys. There's not even an attempt to show the aftermath. We never see the other family, there isn't even a conveniently-placed newspaper around to give us the answer via a headline. For all I know, they could still have been living next door.

Final Opinion: It's not a bad movie. But, as I said before, there's nothing special about it and, if you've seen anything with even a remotely similar plot, it's basically the same as seeing this film.

My Grade: C


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