Rebecca gets off to a slow start and by the time the twists come around, it jumps into hyper speed. Still worth a watch, though.
Honestly, I was really excited to watch Rebecca. Despite having heard for years from friends and family to read the book, or watch the Alfred Hitchcock film, I never did. Which means I went into this version of Rebecca completely blind. I was careful not to see any spoilers, read any reviews, or even look up the movie synopsis. Because of this I had nothing to compare it to, and I still came out of it thinking “MEH”.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Rebecca isn’t a bad movie in my opinion, but it isn’t a great one either. It felt very satisfactory. The first half was very drawn out and then the second half felt way too fast. After the first major twist is revealed, things speed up and and get intense, but it almost feels too overwhelming. As someone who doesn’t know the story, I was interested and intrigued, but I wanted more time to soak it all in.
I thought that Rebecca was supposed to be a thriller, especially having known that Alfred Hitchcock had made a version of it. I suppose those vibes were given off at first, but they quickly faded away. The score gave some creepy vibes and WOW bravo to Kristin Scott Thomas, who was the scariest part of this film. I never knew where her head was at, and I loved it.
Besides the fact that this movie centers around the untimely death of the first Mrs. de Winter, and what I mentioned above, I didn’t get a thriller vibe at all. The sleepwalking was a bit strange, but also felt strange to me and like it never gave me the pay off I wanted.
I do love the fact that the new Mrs. de Winter is never given a name. She is one of the stars of the film but always seems to be overshadowed by the late Mrs. de Winter, Rebecca. I felt for her, mostly in part due to Lily James’ powerful performance. She was alone in this new world, trying to stay afloat (no pun intended) and it seemed like all of the odds were always stacked against her.
Like I mentioned above, the last half feels almost too fast. We are getting twists and turns like rapid fire and then the ending was like wait, what?! It was pretty insane and I was not expecting it, at all. The four main actors — Lily James, Armie Hammer, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Sam Riley — are the saving grace of this movie. If it wasn’t for them, I am not sure I would have enjoyed it as much as I did.
Rebecca is not a bad movie, but it is not a great one either. The beginning is drawn out way too long and when we finally get to the twists and turns, they happen a little too fast for my liking. That isn’t to say this movie is not worth a watch, because the acting is superb and truly holds it all together.
As someone who loves twists and turns in a film, I was satisfied with Rebecca. The story was interesting and the cast was phenomenal. It just felt like it was missing something. Honestly, the biggest thing this movie did for me is inspire me to watch the Alfred Hitchcock version and possibly read the book. I have a feeling they will both do a better job of telling the story.
After a whirlwind romance in Monte Carlo with handsome widower Maxim de Winter (Armie Hammer), a newly married young woman (Lily James) arrives at Manderley, her new husband’s imposing family estate on a windswept English coast. Naive and inexperienced, she begins to settle into the trappings of her new life, but finds herself battling the shadow of Maxim’s first wife, the elegant and urbane Rebecca, whose haunting legacy is kept alive by Manderley’s sinister housekeeper Mrs. Danvers (Kristin Scott Thomas).
Directed by Ben Wheatley (High Rise, Free Fire) and produced by Working Title Films (Emma, Darkest Hour), REBECCA is a mesmerising and gorgeously rendered psychological thriller based on Daphne du Maurier’s beloved 1938 gothic novel.
Rebecca comes to Netflix on October 21st!
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Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Critics Association, and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.