Death is never an easy thing to cope with. The grieving process which follows is an incredibly difficult state of mind to be in. To say that, the experience can be trying to your mental health would be an understatement. Grief presents itself in many different forms. Whether that is isolation, bucket list goals from the deceased – or something a bit more toxic like heavy drinking or extreme drugs. Some of us want to bury the pain because it’s too much to deal with. We begin the mask the pain and that death quickly terms to a trigger topic or a stigma.
Then, when that death is suicide – it’s a completely different process in and of itself. I was seventeen years old the first time that I ever experienced suicide. Thoughts became bulls on parade. What could I have said differently? What could I have done differently? Is there anything I could have said or done to keep that person here with me? Instead, it thrust me into advocacy for mental health & suicide awareness. I’ve spent the last four years working on a fellow entertainment site, nonprofit and podcast in Victims and Villains. Content that meets people at their passions but is dedicated to engage and educate individuals on mental health.
I don’t say that for self-promotion, honestly, I don’t. I say it to illustrate the impact one suicide had one as an individual. In all my years of speaking and traveling, I’ve met individuals along the way who have experienced the same thing I have – suicide. There has always been one common theme: suicide, unlike other deaths, forever changes you. That’s the subject of Trey Haley’s thriller, Woman on the Edge. Edge explores the grief process of losing someone, close to you, with suicide. Though, I desperately wish that was all it had to say. The movie explores more than just the grieving process. Rather, it tells the story of an investigative reporter (Rumer Willis) who loses her twin sister to suicide – only to find out it was a homicide, which later leads to a conspiracy of mass deaths connected to a serial killer.
Edge is bluntly honest about how we cope with death. For that, this film has my respect. Though, that might be the only thing that it has. The pacing of the movie feels clunky, to say the least. On the surface, the idea of Willis being able to explore the grieving process is inherently more intriguing than the other 90% of the movie. Once the suicide becomes a pact, the film completely goes down the drain. The editing is jarring – quickly weaving in and out of scenes. This could be the independent equivalent of Suicide Squad when it comes to editing and pacing. Honestly, editing and pacing could be the least of this movie’s issues if it kept audiences entertained. Instead, the plot trades in an intriguing grief story for a paint-by-numbers, boring and predictable crime thriller.
The acting feels like it exists somewhere between a high school play and a lifetime movie. There’s no conviction, nor feeling, in any delivery of these lines. Perhaps, one of the most arguable anomalies to this formula could be Jeffery Patterson. His character could be compared to Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil or Steve Wilkos. He carries himself pretty remarkably throughout the entire movie. It’s his end destination that is painfully boring and one of the biggest flops of the entire narrative. Willis, among others, clearly didn’t pick anything up from dad or mom. Her performance is wooden for nearly the entire movie. The little bit of emotion that she does convey comes from her character’s grieving process. Which once again comes down to a plot we’ve seen a thousand times before.
In the end, Woman on the Edge, garners my respect for its’ opening themes on suicide. However, it’s trade-in value with the generic crime thriller narrative, makes this one painfully boring. Rumer Willis, daughter of Bruce and Demi Moore, clearly didn’t inherit the acting gift from her parents. Her lead performance is void of anything remotely interesting or emotional. Paint peeling reacts better than she does. Her opening arc has some conviction but is quickly abandoned. Jeffery Patterson might be the only redeeming quality of the film. He seems to be the only one capable of displaying emotion throughout the film. Even if his arc ends in the worst way possible. DVR something on Lifetime, it might offer more than Woman on the Edge.