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The Secret
The Secret
Actors: David Duchovny, Lili Taylor, Olivia Thirlby
Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
R     2008     1hr 32min

In the spirit of Ghost and Birth, Hannah and Benjamin (Lili Taylor, Six Feet Under and David Duchovny, The X-Files) are a happily married couple whose love is tested in ways they never could have imagined in this touching ...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: David Duchovny, Lili Taylor, Olivia Thirlby
Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Love & Romance, Family Life, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Image Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 08/12/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 32min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
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Member Movie Reviews

Jerry S. from OCEANSIDE, CA
Reviewed on 2/17/2016...
WOW! This will keep you guessing right to the end. LOVED IT!
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
MaryAnn W. from SAINT LOUIS, MO
Reviewed on 4/10/2014...
This was a good movie, not a great one, but good. I lost interest near the end and was happy it was over.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Callie K. (ballofglitter) from GRAND ISLAND, NE
Reviewed on 3/24/2014...
When I first read the description on netflix I thought this movie sounded weird but it was actually very good. It's not what it seems from the description
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Elizabeth B. (bethieof96) from NINETY SIX, SC
Reviewed on 8/4/2013...
The movie would have been really good but I couldn't watch it as the disc was bad. Didn't know it until I had already confirmed it had arrived. So I couldn't give it a fair rating.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Engrossing drama dealing with spirit transference
z hayes | TX | 08/13/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

""The Secret" stars David Duchovny as Ben Marris, a successful ophtalmologist who is happily married to Hannah [Lili Taylor of The Haunting]who is a housewife. They have a rebellious 16-year-old daughter Sam [Olivia Thirlby]and from the beginning we can see the antagonism Sam feels towards her over-protective mother. Both mom and daughter head out on a weekend trip and an accident causes both to be critically wounded, eventually resulting in a bizarre occurence in which Hannah's spirit transfers over to Sam's body whilst Sam's spirit lingers somewhere in limbo-land.

The rest of the movie deals with how Ben comes to grips with this bizarre turn of events and how Hannah struggles to cope not only with having lost her material body, but having to try to 'find' her daughter's spirit within Sam's physical self, whislt at the same time traversing the tension-fraught life of a high school teen. Both Ben and "Hannah as Sam" also have trouble dealing with the weirdness of their situation as being deeply in love, they come to certain realisations about the impossible situation they are both in. Ben is torn between wanting to satisfy his and Hannah's emotional and sexual needs whilst not wanting to cross the boundaries presented by his own daughter's material body.

The leads do a credible job of portraying three individuals trapped in an intolerable situation, though it is Duchovny's Ben and Thirlby's Sam that carry the movie for the most part. Olivia Thirlby's performance as Samantha/Hannah is commendable as she portrays both mother and teen credibly. Viewers can really tell when she is playing either mother or daughter. Thirlby is definitely a young actor of promising talent based on this performance.

This is supposedly a remake of a Japanese movie titled Himitsu, and though I haven't watched the original, this movie can stand alone on its own merits. Though it has a supernatural premise, it never really delves too deeply into that aspect for the movie deals more with how individuals cope under strange circumstances. Ben and 'Hannah' do seem to accept the situation way too quickly [which did strike me as very odd], but at 1.5 hrs long, the movie really didn't have the luxury of time to go in depth into the topic of spirit transference/possession.

On the whole, I found "The Secret" to be quite an engrossing drama and well carried by credible acting.

For those viewers who are very much concerned about the taboo aspects of this movie, i.e. a dad having to deal with a daughter who has her mother's spirit residing within her and the physical issues of dealing with that, do not fret. The movie never crosses the line towards actual physical consummation nor any explicit displays of affection between Ben and "Hannah as Sam"."
Gets there without crossing that line...
Steve Kuehl | Ben Lomond, CA | 08/12/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Duchovny is one of my favorites and that main trailer had my customers asking lots of questions so I made sure to fit in this warped little title this weekend.

The story is laid out explicitly on the DVD case and in the trailer. Really all that was left to discover was how believable they made it and whether they cross any gross-out lines of keeping it "in the family". The performances were very adequate and make for a sustainable take on the body/spirit switch. The lead up to the event with their lovey-dovey marriage was over the top sap, but still fun. Through the course of the film, the young actress does a great job of fulfilling a split personality type roll, and I look forward to seeing more from her. By the end of the film you forget who is really there and who is not (in her mind).

SPOILER: I will get to the obvious question as numerous people have said they will not rent it if it goes down a certain path of consumation; It does not. But that does not mean you won't feel uncomfortable at times. For what this film is, I gave it a higher rating because of the believability without going X-Files-ish in how/why it happens, plus the acting was solid.

Quality of the DVD was fine, (did not get to the Blu this week) but it still showed a variety of failings with the camera grain; there were several takes of back/forth dialogue scenes that were obviously shot by different cameras where the grain detracted from the scene. The interviews and behind the scenes were nice additions for the release."
"A 36 year old woman in a 16 year old's body. I'm every man'
J. H. Minde | Boca Raton, Florida and Brooklyn, New York | 08/25/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"THE SECRET is a bit weird and disturbing. David Duchovny's wife and daughter, essentially estranged from each other, are in a horrific car crash. The daughter dies. The distraught wife dies at the same moment crying her daughter's name. Mysteriously, the daughter recovers, only she's no longer Duchovny's daughter, she's Duchovny's wife in their daughter's body.

So far so weird. But THE SECRET, a bizarre take on FREAKY FRIDAY, gets a little disturbing as the Mrs. settles into her daughter's life, discovering (or rediscovering) the joys of being sixteen, including sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. She also sleeps with (but doesn't seduce) Duchovny, but the intimate adult-to-adult conversations between husband/father and wife/daughter are enough to make your skin crawl, since the line, though never crossed, is toed very tightly.

There is a denoument, but to tell it would be to ruin the ending, and THE SECRET doesn't deserve to be ruined. It is worth watching, though the moral of the story is, unsurprisingly, a bit murky."