DEADLY ILLUSIONS is a new Netflix thriller. This is the classic erotic thriller with plot twists you’ll see coming a mile away. And yet, I can’t help but enjoy it because it embraces its premise completely. Basically, it’s really kitsch. Read our full Deadly Illusions movie review here!

DEADLY ILLUSIONS is a new Netflix thriller starring a lot of familiar faces. In fact, the plot and very concept of this movie feel familiar and maybe that’s exactly what we all need right now. This is pure entertainment in all its kitsch and campy ways. It feels like a late-night Lifetime movie. And I’m strangely fine with that.

It’s almost like a horror-comedy in the sense that it just leans into all the clichés. It embraces its premise and I can’t help but enjoy that. I won’t be watching it again, but I didn’t mind watching it once. Admittedly, it does run too long due to the very slow-burn first half of the movie. But hey, it works within this genre, so I can’t really complain.

Continue reading our full Deadly Illusions movie review below.

Deadly Illusions is a classic guilty pleasure

This might seem like a psychological thriller, but it’s much more of an erotic thriller. The “guilty pleasure” kind that you’ll watch because you can guess much of the plot and enjoy the few surprising moments along the way. Sure, there’s the LGBTQ element of the story, which I did personally enjoy, but even that isn’t as cutting edge as it once was. Which is good!

Admittedly, Deadly Illusions will probably be a hit or miss for most viewers. More often than not, this kind of movie is a complete miss for me. Even though moments along the way might work. Like Phylicia Rashad in Tyler Perry’s A Fall from Grace which is also a Netflix movie. She was brilliant in it even though the movie wasn’t my cup of tea.

You might like: Our review of A Fall from Grace here >

With Deadly Illusions, it wasn’t the cast (though I liked seeing so many “blasts from the past”) but rather the overall style, I found entertaining. Who knows, maybe on another day, I would have rolled my eyes and just hated it. Today, it was exactly the kind of campy nonsense I needed.

Deadly Illusions (2021) Netflix Review

The lovely familiarity of the cast

Okay, I know I just said it wasn’t the cast that made this movie entertaining to me, but that isn’t entirely true. I did enjoy seeing Kristin Davis (Sex and the City) as the main protagonist in Deadly Illusions. And while I also said it isn’t really a psychological thriller, it does have elements of that. In these moments, Kristin Davis works really well.

In fact, in a sense, you could say that Kristin Davis is the “straight man” (even if she’s pretty gay in this) as the person who sees the madness that nobody else seems to catch onto. As her husband, we see Dermot Mulroney, who I most recently remember seeing in the Messiah series on Netflix (which unfortunately only got one season).

But really, this isn’t about the man. Instead, it’s all about Kristin Davis’ character, Mary Morrison, and the young woman who causes havoc in her life. The young woman is Grace and she’s played by Greer Grammer, who also starred in the director’s previous movie Emma’s Chance (2016). A great character when you have fun with it the way Greer Grammer does here!

The ending of Deadly Illusions on Netflix

Just wanted to comment on the Deadly Illusions ending to say that I personally liked it. There are some open-ended elements to it that I know won’t be for everyone.

Still, it’s not like you’ll need the ending explained. Not if you’ve been paying attention to the story being told. Well, except for that very final scene which is certainly up for interpretation.

Watch Deadly Illusions on Netflix now!

Deadly Illusions is written and directed by Anna Elizabeth James. Her next movie as a director is the thriller Sister Sorority and if the title is any indication, then I suspect it will be very entertaining as well. She didn’t write the screenplay for that one though, so we’ll see. 

She’s done both movies, TV series episodes, and short films prior to this, so she’s been active as both writer and director for a good decade. I would love to see her write and direct a horror-comedy or just a dark psychological thriller. However, I definitely acknowledge that these guilty pleasure thrillers have a huge market.

I mean, everything from 50 Shades of Grey to the obscene amount of new Christmas romance movies released each year, is proof of that. Still, Anna Elizabeth James has a style that I find refreshing in its brazen directness to just go all-in. I want more. Not of this particular story, which also has its predictable cringeworthy moments, but just more from this filmmaker.

Deadly Illusions is out on Netflix from March 18, 2021.


Director: Anna Elizabeth James
Writer: Anna Elizabeth James
Stars: Kristin Davis, Greer Grammer, Dermot Mulroney, Shanola Hampton, Grayson Berry


A bestselling female novelist, suffering from writer’s block, hires an innocent young woman to watch over her twin children. As the novelist dangerously indulges in her new best seller, the line between the life she’s writing and the one she’s living becomes blurred.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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