Deadbolt (2024) Movie Review - Sleepy Tubi Thriller You Should Keep Locked Out

Horror, Thriller | 83 Min
Cover from Tubi horror movie Deadbolt (2024)
  • Director: Mars Horodyski
  • Actors: Rebecca Liddiard, Jamie Spilchuk, Camille Stopps, Joey Belfiore, Kyra Harper, Thomas Duplessie
  • Writers: Michael Rinaldi
  • Producers: Kim Yu
  • Country: Canada
  • Language: English
  • Parental: Violence, Language, Sexual Content
  • Horror, Thriller | 83 Min

Seeking a fresh start a young woman finds her sanity on the brink due to unexplained disappearances and chilling nocturnal echoes in her new home.

Welcome to Knockout Horror. It would seem that every time I have a reason to praise the free movie streaming service Tubi. They come up with a way to disappoint me in equal measure. For every enjoyable romp like Clickbait: Unfollowed and Lowlifes, there is a sloppy pile of dreck like This Never Happened or the movie we will be reviewing today Deadbolt.

Following the story of a young woman called Amelia (Rebecca Liddiard) looking for a fresh start after an abusive relationship. Deadbolt sees our PTSD suffering protagonist moving into a house that hides something far more sinister than just the rats roaming in the basement.

This is, by all rights, far more of a thriller than it is a horror. Director Mars Horodyski does lean into a liberal amount of horror tropes throughout, however, so there is plenty of crossover appeal.

Milquetoast Thriller Dullness

Deadbolt is no different from every other middle of the road thriller movie you have ever seen. It offers absolutely nothing to stand out from the crowd. Plot setup is incredibly vanilla with our protagonist moving in with a new roommate after suffering through an abusive relationship. Naturally the house is old and extremely creaky but we are repeatedly reassured that this is simply rats and “old house noises”.

Screenshot from Tubi horror movie Deadbolt (2024)

Amelia meets a strapping “young” (mid 40s I am guessing) man called David (Jamie Spilchuk). Who just so happens to like all the same things that she likes. The pair hit it off but things at the creaky old house become more and more strange. Amelia investigates the history of the house, the spooky neighbours lead to some exposition, yada yada yada. It’s all the same old stuff that you have seen a million times before. This is Thriller movie paint by numbers.

Occasional scares attempt to do a lot of heavy lifting and keep you invested but fall completely flat. Things randomly disappearing from Amelia’s room present some minor degree of early intrigue. The worn out, thread bare, trope of potential mental illness related explanations rears its ugly, haggard, head but it never manages to stick. The actual explanation for what is going on is all too apparent leading me on to Deadbolt’s biggest issue.

Beyond Predictable

Deadbolt may be one of the most predictable thrillers I have ever watched. Every single scare and every single plot point is projected far before it happens. Horodyski only makes minimal attempts to hide upcoming revelations and has no talent for unexpected reveals. Every moment of potential tension or unease in Deadbolt is loudly projected. There isn’t a single surprise to be found. 

Screenshot from Tubi horror movie Deadbolt (2024)

Of course, the argument could be made that this is simply a case of the whole thriller genre being rather played out but it goes beyond that. You will be screaming at your television from about a quarter of the movie in. The big hidden plot element is just that apparent and obvious. The movie drowns the viewer in exposition and then gleefully strokes itself with pride at its major twist. Showing us flash back after flash back as if we hadn’t already guessed what was happening over an hour ago. 

The ending is painfully obvious and not at all surprising. In fact, the cast is so small that, if you happened to somehow miss the glaringly apparent twist, the only logical conclusion would be the correct one. The only one who won’t see it coming is Amelia herself as, apparently, she is a complete idiot. Horodyski bombards you with false flag after false flag but it simply doesn’t work. There is no reason to invest in this story and plenty of reasons to roll your eyes and frown. 

A Few Plus Points

On the plus side, Deadbolt looks pretty decent. Cameron Roden’s cinematography keeps the movie looking high budget and Horodyski manages some fairly interesting shots. Rebecca Liddiard does a solid job in the lead role of Amelia. Managing to make the rather dull plot seem, at least, somewhat more interesting. Camille Stopps was fun as roommate Melinda, as well.

The score is decent enough but what is with all of these horror movies using cellos so much, lately? I guess these modern composers finally realised that Bernard Herrmann was on to something back in the 60s.

Screenshot from Tubi horror movie Deadbolt (2024)

I appreciated the 83 minute runtime but you really only need a quarter of that to work out the entire plot. Undemanding viewers may enjoy the simple, thriller by numbers, nature of the movie. It never really asks you to invest too hard in what is going on and the revelation is simple enough to be satisfying for some. But it all just feels so redundant and so low effort.

Should You Watch Deadbolt?

Unless you have a high tolerance for bland and predictable thrillers, you probably shouldn’t bother watching Deadbolt. In fact, I don’t remember seeing a single deadbolt in the movie. Just a cheap looking door chain. This is as predictable as thrillers come. Some may be okay with that but everyone else will find themselves guessing the big twist in the first 25 minutes and checking out for the next hour. Deadbolt just doesn’t do enough to keep you engaged.

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