The thriller No Exit, which is set in a visitor’s centre during a blizzard, centres on Darby’s perilous attempt to rescue a kidnapped child. The movie is initially entertaining when it challenges Darby and us to identify the owner of the van that has young Jay inside of it. But this enjoyment is quickly replaced by a tedious card game, which the movie essentially employs as a tried-and-true method of revealing the characters’ past. The movie makes fun of our presumptive belief that the doubter will end up being the helpful one. In the movie, the suspect is actually the guilty party. By doing this, it robs us of our expectations and makes itself predictable. No Exit becomes merely another survival thriller that is too repetitious due to the weak, context-free, and motivation-free betrayal game that follows.
The five characters in No Exit, including two pairings, are the centre of the story. The protagonist, Darby (Havana Rose Liu), is a woman in her twenties who is going through drug addiction treatment. Our characters are former Marine Ed (Dennis Haysbert) and his housekeeper wife Sandi (Dale Dickey). Finally, we have Ash and Lars, two brothers. To comprehend how these people drive the story towards its conclusion, let’s look at them and their reasons.
Due to her drug addiction, Darby attends treatment sessions in a recovery facility. Her family has severed all contact with her as a result of this. But when she learns that her mother is dying, she sneaks out of the place and tries to drive to the hospital in Salt Lake City, where she is admitted. She must stop for a while at a visitor centre owing to a severe snowstorm, but fate has other plans for her.
We can infer that her concern for Jay (the young woman she discovers hiding under one of the parked vans) stems from the hole her mother’s absence has left in her heart. Although it could seem that she should have treated the youngster with nonchalance because of this very feeling, it doesn’t feel that way. The irony now enters the picture at this point. The fact that Darby’s mother doesn’t want her to meet her at the hospital is obvious evidence of her disapproval.
On the other side, Darby embodies what a mother should do for her kid by doing whatever it takes to save Jay. Her worry for the lonely child, who undoubtedly longs to be with her mother—something she too yearns for but cannot have—may have given rise to this nature. She therefore takes all necessary precautions to keep her secure. No Exit does not depict any interaction between Darby and her mother, which prevents us as viewers from empathising with the loneliness she experiences (being detached from her family). Even when the movie makes an effort to repair the relationship (Devon pays a visit to Darby near the conclusion of the movie), it feels pointless because we are unsure of the exact reason why she is so estranged from her family.
The most novel aspect of Darby’s story appears to be when she snorts cocaine to give herself the boost she needs to get out of her torturous situation (she uses the hammer to rip the nail out of her wrist) and ultimately save Jay, even if she takes a bullet. This could be read as a message whereby Darby, a drug addict, atones for his actions by accomplishing a superhuman achievement that stems from his addiction. This raises the question of whether she is truly deserving of compassion as a sick and lonely person. When it comes down to it, we may feel guilty for saying no, but we secretly have a sneaking suspicion that Darby won’t be able to overcome her addiction. Additionally, it is stated at the outset of No Exit that she has been in a rehabilitation facility for at least two years. This highlights the severity of her addiction and leads us to believe that her family must have experienced a serious event in order to both send her to rehab and cut off contact with her.
There is yet another idea. She might have turned to drugs as a way to vent because she was the least liked family member. We’ve seen plenty of movies where a character uses drugs to numb the agony of separation, which in this case is pain. This brings up the original motivation behind Darby’s desire to assist little Jay once more. Because she didn’t want Jay to experience the same emotions as she experienced (and probably has all her life). But one thing is for sure: staying sober never presented an issue.
Ed and Sandi
Dennis Haysbert plays Ed, a former marine, and Dale Dickey plays Sandi, his wife, who works as a maid. Only at the conclusion of No Exit do we understand how completely different mindsets can exist between two people who are so much in love and desire to spend the rest of their life together. Ed didn’t want or expect Sandi’s willingness to go to any lengths to obtain money (and enjoy a better life with her spouse Ed).
Additionally, Jay, who turns out to be her boss’s daughter and often makes a fool of Sandi, only increases her need for money. The motivation for vengeance, which manifests as an abduction and ransom, is rage and anger. Ash and Lars were hired by her to abduct Jay. The character of Randi is perhaps given more credibility than Darby’s. We can appreciate the need for money to support a family, and it is not difficult to acknowledge Sandi’s plight. Her hopes are also dashed when she finds out that Ash and Lars will keep the ransom and keep her instead of returning Jay. Ed is revealed to be the more capable and powerful member of the pair. How much Randi depends on her is obvious. However, the movie ends his life before he can truly find his purpose. Right after, Randi is also dead. For the same reason—namely, because there is little context—their deaths are pitiful and fall flat.
Ash and Lars
Ash and Lars, the antagonists in No Exit, are siblings. But Ash is the one who is most dedicated to their goal. Most of the time, Lars is absorbed in his own world. The only information we learn about these two is that they labour for their foster father, Uncle Kenny. Their current line of work—kidnapping children and placing them in better homes—was introduced to them by Kenny. At least twice, Lars’ compassionate side is on display: once when he screams at Ash to stop him from pinning Jay’s wrist to the ground, and twice when he screams at Jay as she moves closer to the switchboard. Despite having a gun, he chooses not to fire. Furthermore, it is him who arrives to check on Jay while she is in the car. In order to keep her warm, he provides food and starts the car heater. Lars’ sad death at the hands of his brother Ash is heartbreaking. Although he had no malicious intent, he nevertheless had to pay. Yes, Ash also passes away later, but we are unaffected by it. At this time, No Exit has devolved into a bloody, violent, and body-counting gore fest.
The movie also has another intriguing strand. There is a connection between Darby, Jay, Ash, and Lars. How? Well, in one way or another, they are all estranged from their families. Darby’s family doesn’t like her. Jay’s family has been forcibly separated from her. Additionally, Ash and Lars’ foster father raised them (either their parents were dead or their parents had disowned them). Even though none of the families are explored in the movie, these four people are connected by their families (not in their world, but for us).
No Exit Ending Explainer: Is Darby With Her family?
Police responded to the message Darby transmitted from the dead cop’s communicator, as seen at the conclusion of No Exit. Then, we encounter her once again in the same treatment facility. She now has a picture of two girls holding hands, along with the name Jay. As a result, Jay gave it to you. Thus, it is evident that Jay keeps in contact with Darby in addition to her family. A manifestation of Jay’s affection for her is the drawing. Devon, Darby’s sister, has also been to see her, which suggests that after all this time, her family may now be ready to welcome her back. She is still in rehab, though, which suggests either that she is still working to overcome her addictions or that she is also having to learn how to deal with the trauma of what she has just been through.
No Exit is a 2022 thriller movie that Damien Power is directing and is based on Taylor Adams’ 2017 book of the same name.