Review: A woman gets stuck at a remote park with a criminal in the Hulu thriller ‘No Exit’


Initially, “No Exit” looks like another iteration of Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” with its group of stranded strangers and an unknown criminal in their midst. Darby (Havana Rose Liu) escapes from court-mandated drug rehab to visit her mother in the hospital, but a blizzard stops her progress at a remote park‘s visitor center. Darby is stuck there with four others: charming Ash (Danny Ramirez); squirrelly Lars (David Rysdahl); and married couple Ed (Dennis Haysbert) and Sandy (Dale Dickey). Darby discovers a young girl tied up in a van in the parking lot, and she isn’t sure which of the people she is snowed in with is a kidnapper.

“No Exit” reveals their (somewhat predictable) identity well before the climax, but there are several surprises still in store. Produced by Scott Frank, this film shares DNA with grim thrillers penned by the filmmaker like “The Lookout” and “A Walk Among the Tombstones,” though it’s never quite on that level. Director Damien Power occasionally tilts the movie into horror territory, with some particularly grisly violence that might shock viewers who think they know where it’s going.

Adapted from Taylor Adams’ novel, “No Exit” evinces no connection with Jean-Paul Sartre’s play of the same name, but both center on the idea that hell is other people. Between Darby’s fraught relationship with her family and her isolation with a violent criminal, human connection is largely absent here. There is a bit of Sartre’s trademark existentialism, with Darby taking charge of her own fate, but this “No Exit” reeks more of nihilism. As the film winds toward its bloody climax, it’s unclear what the point of it all was.


‘No Exit’

Rating: R, for strong violence, language and some drug content

Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Playing: Available Feb. 25 on Hulu