What Comes Around Movie Review

What Comes Around movie poster

In What Comes Around, a very attractive teenager played by a very attractive 26-year-old is seduced by her online boyfriend, who shows up at her doorstep one day and turns out to be a little older than he initially let on. That’s not his only secret in this wannabe-thriller that never really comes around to much at all.

Grace Van Dien plays high school student Anna, while Summer Phoenix stars as her mother Beth. Kyle Gallner plays Eric, the dude.

What Comes Around holds some promise in its premise, but none of the pieces ever come together. I was enticed by the idea of some form of an erotic thriller, though in hindsight the fact that the movie is about a guy who grooms a high school student doesn’t really lend itself to “erotic.” Even still, the promise of sex and sizzle, or at least bait and catfish, is there–it just never manifests.

The shifting protagonists don’t help. Early on, director Amy Redford, working from a script by Scott Organ, focuses very clearly on Anna, but as the story progresses she is pushed to the background in favor of her mom. It’s a baffling decision, or at least the execution is downright sloppy. There’s a twist involved that in a better movie might have worked, but here it’s greeted with a shug. I would have liked to see Redford really lean on the mother-daughter dynamic to spice things up, but she rarely even puts them in the same scene together.

As for Eric, the clear protagonist, he comes and goes whispering threats but not much else. He simply isn’t very menacing, though the hint of violence always lingers.

Throw it all together and what you get is a bland, lifeless movie. The climax, if you can call it that, is utterly lame, the final limp kick in a limp production. What Comes Around never actually comes around.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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