Cinemaster Score: 1/10
Everything, from the acting all the way down to the script is terrible in every sense of the word. There are no superlatives that can be cast upon What Lies Ahead to describe the torture of enduring its unending banality. The acting is hilariously childish. The script is one of the worst we have ever seen. Director Rob Gardner injects no life into it, and acts as if the film’s twist is one for the ages. Characters in What Lies Ahead are despicable and wholly uninteresting in their execution. There is no semblance of a coherent plotline or captivating hook. To top it all off, What Lies Ahead is a slog to sit through, with scattered pacing and not a single surprising scene to accompany it. It is a total misfire on every conceivable level, pretending to be a dark road trip with twists and turns – while in reality it is a cheap and soul-crushing experience to suffer through. What Lies Ahead is one of the worst movies we’ve ever seen, and it will be a long time before this train wreck is given a second thought.
Acting; The acting in What Lies Ahead is some of the most atrocious ever put to screen. Rumer Willis is supposedly a professional actress, and yet there are few more amateur performances. She is absolutely horrible in every facet and never for one second is interesting to watch or hear. Of course, we do have Emma Dumont. The yin to Rumer’s yang – who is equally detestable and unlikable. It was difficult to root for her character’s luck in any way by halfway through the film, mostly due to her over-acting and lack of direction. She has no relatability, charm, or energy that captivates the audience. They both feel soulless in this movie and act as robots delivering lines in the most awkward of ways. They’re presence in the film is laughable, cringey, and horribly wasted. Save yourself and skip this movie if your looking for quality acting.
Script; What Lies Ahead has one of the worst scripts ever. The entire thing feels like it was written by a group of fourteen-year-olds. That isn’t just an analogy to be rude or anything – it actually seems that way at times. The dialogues between characters isn’t thought out well at all. What Lies Ahead’s script is made-up mostly of uncomfortable small talk and vulgarities. Both of which – especially the constant cursing from Raven (Rumer Willis) – are almost unbearable. The script is overdramatic, too. Most of the emphasized words in conversation are either unnecessary to the plot or make the upcoming twists too obvious. There are also plenty of major plot holes in the script that make the film seem sloppy and half-baked. What Lies Ahead isn’t a good movie in any sense and that especially stands out in its script.
Characters; Characters are important pieces of film. They give us a reason to watch, care, and invest our time into a full length movie. So, for What Lies Ahead to have the worst character work in recent memory, puts this film on a whole other level of awful. Our two main characters are Raven (Rumer Willis) and Jessica (Emma Dumont). They have no real developments throughout the story, staying as static as possible through the majority of its run time. There are no shocking twists (although the film acts like there are), no insane revelations, or surprising character moments to keep us interested from scene to scene. They are the most unrealistic of people, with outlandish dialogue that doesn’t fit within a second of this movie. The characters in this one don’t do a single thing to help this total failure of a film.
Direction; What Lies Ahead is headed by Rob Gardner in his directorial debut. Gardner is a relatively unknown name in cinema due to his lack of professional experience. Looking at the structure of this movie in its vaguest form of story outline, Gardner may have had something. That something still wouldn’t have been anything fantastic or amazing. However, his execution on it falls flat. His intents were clear in trying to make a film with twists and get people talking. Gardner did accomplish the latter part with any of the few people who have seen What Lies Ahead talking about just how bad it is. There are many scenes that feel repetitive and odd with little consistency or audience understanding. For example, the plethora of scenes that fade to black in order to skip forward through time are less and less watchable as their count increases. Unfortunately, this is a case of the director biting off more than he could chew – whilst taking only a baby bite in his career.
Story; If you thought everything else was bad, wait until you see how marvelously pointless this film’s plot is. Rumer Willis’ character (Raven) goes on a 900 mile trip with her boyfriend’s sister who is moving to New York. There are supposed to be thrilling moments of tension and drama as they make this long journey. Yet, they waste the entire movie by filling it with the most boring car conversations and a “twist” that was spoiled in the trailers. It’s as if they concocted this story as a joke – but judging by how seriously these actors are playing it, What Lies Ahead just seems plain dumb. Unsurprisingly, there isn’t a single scene that causes tension, or dread, or even an uneasy feeling. In fact, most may even watch What Lies Ahead just to laugh at how oblivious it is to its own lackluster failure. The story is weightless, chock full of tried but tired clichés, and devoid of any personality, originality, or depth. This film’s plot is just another negative in a film full of them.
Enjoyment; What Lies Ahead is an impossible film to love. In all brutal honesty, it’s hardly an enjoyable movie at all. The flick is simply a pain of a viewing experience that is beyond difficult to care for. The twists are ruined by a bad script and fully spoiled by the trailer. The emotional scenes are worn down by bad acting. The possibility of indulging yourself in this film is prevented by terrible characters. Maybe you don’t care about any of that, though. Maybe you just want to be entertained for a bit. Well, it isn’t likely What Lies Ahead will even serve that purpose as it’s quite boring and even uncomfortable to watch at times. The lack of comfort mostly develops from the slow moving plot filled with cursing, unrealistic scenes, and the repetitive nature of the movie. Even though What Lies Ahead is only an hour and a half long, it feels much longer and is nowhere near enjoyable
David: “I really had no idea what I was getting into when starting up What Lies Ahead. I (as advised) didn’t watch the trailer as to not ruin every plot point. Although, the supposed “twists” Gardner wanted to capture were no surprise for me. Altogether, I found this film nearly painful to watch and don’t recommend it one bit.”
JP: “I hate What Lies Ahead with a passion. It’s possibly the worst movie I’ve ever seen, with the most boring of scenes put to film. I was completely uninvested in the characters, the story, and the “twists” that were mixed in. Please, at all costs avoid this worthless movie and invest in a quality film.”