Every now and again, Netflix delivers a trailer so captivating you think ‘oh man, this is going to be addictive as hell’. Behind Her Eyes, its latest thriller, was one of those to me – how wrong I was.
In the series, single mum Louise (played by Simona Brown) thinks she’s struck gold when she literally walks into handsome stranger David (Tom Bateman) in the middle of a bar.
Hitting it off right away, things get awkward when he suddenly rebuffs her advances, and the next day she discovers he’s not only her new boss, but he’s married to beautifully devoted wife, Adele (Eve Hewson).
That doesn’t stop them jumping between the sheets the first chance they can though.
Adele, who is seen taking a never-ending stream of mystery pills, soon befriends the magnetic Louise too, oblivious to the fact her new best friend is having it away with her husband.
But Adele has secrets and a possessiveness of David that doesn’t take long to rear its ugly head, and soon Louise is left wishing she spilled her cocktail over someone else’s husband.
From the get-go, it becomes clear everybody is an insufferable, taking great pleasure in doing terrible things to each other for no obvious reason.
You can’t root for Louise, who is so self-involved she believes that ‘both of them are happier with her than they are with each other’ as if that justifies her affair. Then there’s David, who seems to be keeping his wife on drugs so he can have sneaky sex sessions with his secretary.
The problem with the notorious ‘big twist’, anyone familiar with the book will know, is it takes so long to get there, with the creators thinking they’re darned clever for this Eleventh Hour switcheroo but didn’t leave much in the previous episodes to keep steam.
Behind Her Eyes is beautifully made and has this cold colour palette that reminds me of last year’s addictive and brilliantly trashy The Stranger, but it just doesn’t have the same level of self-awareness or level of absurdity.
In turn, what’s left is an unwelcome cocktail of boredom and confusion.
- The final episode. You can skip to that if you want and could probably pick up the rest of it.
- Eve Hewson is the star of this show, to be fair to her. She’s very good at playing cold and creepy.
Behind Her Eyes Verdict:
Behind Her Eyes just doesn’t know what it wants to be and takes itself far too seriously, resulting in a muddled mess that could – and should – have been cut short.
For those who haven’t read the Sarah Pinborough novel of the same name, your time and money would be much better spent supporting your local book shop.
Behind Her Eyes launches February 17 on Netflix.
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