Locked is a 2019 movie produced by Charles Granville and directed by Simon Peace Maker. The movie stars Hilda Dokubo, Charles Granville and Belinda Effah, with Sunny Neji and Alvin Abayomi.
The Netflix synopsis reads: A young woman brings her fiancé home to meet her parents, only to discover that her mother is hiding a dark and deadly secret.
This synopsis may sound exciting, but Locked does not warrant even the smallest surge of adrenaline. Bisola’s (Belinda Effah) mother (Hilda Dokubo) is hiding a deadly secret. However, within a few minutes of the film, we know what the secret is. Synopses on sites like IMDB even tell us straight up that she killed her husband. The excitement of the movie should come from Belinda and her boyfriend being in the same house with a killer.
Poor Script, Lazy Acting
Unfortunately, this did not happen. The poor script resulted in the dullest ninety-five minutes of a drama thriller. Nothing happens for a long time and when the facade begins to crack, the tension remains at zero. Mrs Ife does not come off as truly dangerous. She could have been scary to the audience even if Bisola and Tokunbo were completely oblivious. Her cutesy behaviour mixed with her psychotic tendencies would have been frightening if done well. This is supposed to be a woman with multiple personalities, at least one of whom is a cold-blooded killer.
Even if they had written Mrs Ife as truly terrifying, Hilda Dokubo might not have been able to pull it off. The actors did not seem fully committed to their roles, and they contributed to how boring the movie was. Alvin Abayomi as Bobo was interesting for a minute until his character turned out to be unnecessary. Bisola and Tokunbo are supposed to be in love, but the affection they displayed did not seem real.
At least Charles Granville successfully came off as the man who knows his prospective mother-in-law is crazy. He still needs to be polite because she is an African parent and also, she might kill him. Sunny Neji managed a decent Mr Ife but, as his twin brother Kenny, he was almost wooden.
Which brings us to the plot twist. Kenny, Mr Ife’s twin brother is mentioned earlier in the film. And then, it becomes pretty obvious what the obligatory Nollywood twist is going to be. The way it all unfolds is so far-fetched that it is laughable. Yet at the end, the twist is revealed as if we are supposed to gasp with disbelief. The flashback at the end could have been omitted, and we would still know what happened. You know how it will all play out, but you are stuck watching because it’s amusing and at least you don’t know what Mrs Ife will do next.
In true Nollywood style, the set design was beautiful. The lighting was smooth, if not always used appropriately. The sound could have been better. The camera work often shifted between the right angles and way too close to this person’s face.
This movie could have been gripping if it was just done right. There are so many amazing ideas like Locked for Nollywood movies. If the industry could just put a little more effort, especially into writing, we would have so many gems.