I Watched Netflix's Secret Obsession 3 Times in 36 Hours — Here Are My Unfiltered Thoughts

As a thriller junkie, as soon as I saw the title Secret Obsession show up in my Netflix queue on a particularly rainy evening prime for such a film, I instantly knew I had my plans for the night locked in. After doing a quick Google search — and my run-of-the-mill IMDb scan — I downed a large amount of CBD oil, pressed play, and settled in. Starring Brenda Song, whom Disney kids might recognize from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, the movie's description immediately made me think of Enough. (Remember that 2002 flick where Jennifer Lopez has to take her abusive ex-husband head-on? A classic!) In hindsight, I was not that far off.

Despite having a tremendously unrealistic storyline — which involves a woman breaking out of a bedroom several times with a bobby pin — this movie is pure gold. Is the plot predictable? Sure. Are there some cringey acting moments? Most definitely. But is there a better way to unwind and relax after work than by enjoying a movie you don't have to think too hard about? Absolutely not. If you haven't seen Secret Obsession yet, you're 100 percent missing out. And I'm prepared to tell you why ahead. Just be warned: major spoilers for the ending of Secret Obsession to follow!


  • The film opens with Jennifer (Song) running away from someone, frantically trying to use a payphone (is this 1994?) to call for help. After getting a dial tone — typical! — she has to hide from the person who's clearly trying to kill her. Using a rock to break a car window, she jumps behind the wheel only to discover the engine won't start. Pan to a shadowy figure walking toward her — yep, she's definitely in for it.
  • Realizing that her car is tethered to a pickup truck, she makes a run for it only to be hit by a speeding driver and gets rushed to the hospital. Chaos ensues, and we learn that Jennifer has a gravely messed-up leg, a punctured lung, and bleeding in her brain. Yikes.
  • Soon a man by the name of Russell Williams (Mike Vogel), who's just a little too handsome, walks in, claiming to be her husband. Naturally, the nurse on call takes it at face value — without asking a single question or making him produce ID — and tells him he has to wait until she's out of surgery.
  • Once she's out of the operating room, Russell makes a beeline for her bedside and tells her he's "never going anywhere" while she sleeps. (Because that's not creepy at all, Edward Cullen.) Cue the ominous music.

  • As in all these kind of movies, there has to be a grizzled detective with a traumatic past in the mix, right? We meet Detective Frank Page (Dennis Haysbert), aka the owner of the buttery-smooth voice from the Allstate commercials, as he's buying a big teddy bear on the street (is that not where you buy your teddy bears?). He drives an epic, wood-paneled old car. And what do you know, he's assigned to Jennifer's case!
  • Cue an intense one-on-one interview scene featuring Detective Frank and Russell. Despite having no idea what his wife was doing alone at a rest stop in the middle of a rainy evening all alone, he seems to have an answer for f*cking everything. Husband of the year, I guess.
  • Plot twist: we learn that the teddy bear was actually for Frank's missing daughter, who disappeared at the age of 10. There are no leads in the case. I then cry for Frank. Poor guy. (FYI, this storyline ends here though, so don't expect any closure for him or you.)
  • Conveniently, dingbat Nurse Masters (Ashley Scott) tells Russell that his wife is awake without confirming that he is, in fact, HER HUSBAND . . . again. He's also informed by a doctor that she has essentially lost her memory. Russell proceeds to rip the line, "Does my wife know who I am or not?," to which the doctor replies a somber "no." If you didn't see where this was going before, you definitely should now.

  • Leave it to Russell to show up to the hospital with a bunch of stolen and clearly Photoshopped scrapbooks meant to jog Jennifer's memory (he literally Photoshopped his face into her family photos he clearly nabbed off her Instagram). Like someone struggling with a YouTube makeup tutorial, the skin on his face and neck don't even match! My creep siren is GOING OFF. Plus, he informs her that both her parents also died in an accident, which frankly seems suspect AF. There's not enough CBD oil (or booze) in the universe to make this scene OK.
  • Out of nowhere, a brooding witness to the accident shows up to the hospital with flowers and ominous music. I immediately have a feeling things won't end well for him.
  • After playing a few memory games and eating some pancakes, Russell takes his "wife" home to his woodsy megamansion that's in the middle of nowhere, because where else would it be? Also, it's worth pointing out that no matter how crummy your memory is, you'd remember that house — for a potential killer, he has excellent taste in interior design!
  • It's only a matter of time before Russell catches up with the witness who showed up at the hospital for a friendly chat. LOL, just kidding, he strangles the guy to death.
  • So, what does Russell decide to do with the body of the giant man he just murdered? Bring him home to nondiscreetly bury in the middle of his yard, of course! He's so loud about it, in fact, that Jennifer wakes up and sees him digging the grave. He doesn't even bother hiding the big mound of dead-body dirt behind a tree! Or a bush! Not even a shrub!
  • It's at this point I start to wonder if I should order a box set of CSI DVDs to send to Russell, because clearly he's never seen it.

  • While Russell is busy being the worst murderer of all time, Detective Frank realizes that Russell isn't who he says he is. (Surprise!) So, um, who the hell is this stranger?
  • By now, after seeing her husband casually destroy their garden to bury a body, Jennifer is suspicious. She proceeds to limp out of their bedroom to try to look through his computer files, but she needs a password. What does she try to type in? Variations of her own name! It's bizarrely self-centered and hilarious.
  • Russell interrupts her sleuthing by coming home with a brand-new phone for her that . . . doesn't work. He blames it on their remote location, but come on, Jennifer!
  • Detective Frank pulls the hospital surveillance footage and realizes that Russell just *casually* showed up to the hospital right after the accident. He then somehow matches one of Jennifer's tattoos to her maiden name — Allen — and it's game on. He shows up to her parents' home only to find a sh*tload of letters in the mailbox and a horrific smell inside. You guessed it: both her parents are dead and have been for a LONG time. Woof.
  • Cut to Russell going out to do errands and locking Jennifer in the bedroom for no reason whatsoever (uh, major red flag!). Jennifer happens to find her real ID in Russell's wallet, confirming her worst fears, and proceeds to break out of the room using a bobby pin in all of five seconds. (I've tried it; it's NOT that easy.) She then successfully guesses his password (which is a variation of her name, joke's on me) and finds pictures of her and her real husband that Russell obviously Photoshopped over.
  • We learn that the man who's holding Jennifer hostage is her ex-coworker Ryan Garrity, who apparently has had a crush on her for years. Once Jennifer started dating and married her actual husband (also a coworker), Ryan snapped like a toothpick. So, where's her hubby?

  • Here's where the drama really picks up. Fake Russell aka Ryan arrives home to find Jennifer heading straight for the grave where he buried the witness. He sneaks up and clocks her hard on the head, carries her upstairs, and drugs her. Jennifer then foolishly calls him out for not being her husband, so he chains her to the bed. To sum it up: she didn't play it cool.
  • Ryan goes out for errands for the third time. Confirmed, the guy LOVES errands. Jennifer escapes from the bedroom AGAIN by brutally ripping her foot out of the chains and resorting to her trusty bobby pin.
  • Clearly, the bobby pin is the real (and only) hero of this movie.
  • Now free, she duct tapes her foot for reasons unknown and hobbles to the garage. Lo and behold, she finds her old cell phone just in time for Ryan to come home. We then see the rotting corpse of Jennifer's f*cking husband — aka the REAL Russell — in the trunk of the car. Rough.
  • That's when Detective Frank arrives, and Jennifer is doing everything in her power to get his attention. And what do you know? Ryan clocks him in the back of the head, too, and dumps him in a freezer. He is one sneaky bastard.
  • After tying up Jennifer (with a rope this time!), Ryan nonchalantly confesses to murdering everyone in Jennifer's life, including her husband, and yeah, Jennifer takes it as well as you'd expect. (Spoiler alert: not well.)

  • For the third time, Jennifer breaks free with the use of some sorcery involving a lighter that would almost definitely burn down the house in real life.
  • Jennifer uses a vase to hit Ryan over the back of the head. Conveniently, Detective Frank wakes up at the same time and somehow escapes from the sealed freezer. He's punctual, we'll give him that!
  • Why Jennifer has the overwhelming need to run to the woods without first making sure Ryan is indeed knocked out is beyond me, but here we are. Ryan comes to and chases after her but still can't catch her despite the fact she can barely walk.
  • A fight ensues between him and Jennifer that involves her trying (and failing) to use a large, dead tree to hit her stalker over the head. Luckily, Detective Frank shows up and takes on Ryan himself. He knocks the gun out of Ryan's hands and onto the ground, and Jennifer wastes no time in using it to shoot him twice in the chest. It was apparently that easy.
  • Just like that, the movie is over. Detective Frank moves away, putting his missing daughter's case to rest, while Jennifer opens and reads an emotional letter from her real husband while leaving town. I, for what it's worth, am exhausted.
click to play video

Still not sold on this incredible thriller? Watch the full trailer here.