Is Netflix’s Stay Close scary? It is too cliché to be scary

Barbie and Ken Stay Close

Stay Close is author Harlan Corben’s third film to appear on Netflix. The first couple of films proved successful for Netflix, and the streaming giant hopes that its subsequent Harlan Corben collaborations will prove just as or even more successful. Stay Close is classified as a mystery and thriller, raising fan expectations that the film is scary. 

Cush Jumbo – who delivers an exceptional performance – stars as the film’s protagonist Megan, a suburban mother who adopted a new identity seventeen years ago, following the mysterious disappearance of her stalker, Stewart Green. Stewart’s disappearance also affected the lives of other characters, and now the past threatens to catch up with them. 

Netflix’s Stay Close is too cliché to be scary

The past-coming-back-to-haunt-main-characters narrative has become too cliché; unfortunately, Stay Close is one such production. 

Stewart Green’s disappearance seventeen years ago affected several lives. Green was obsessed with Cassie – an obsession that became dangerous when she began dating Ray. Megan disappeared after Green’s disappearance, leaving behind Ray and her confidant Lorraine. 

Detective Broome launched an investigation into Green’s vanishing, and seventeen years later, he’s yet to solve the case – the only case in his career he’s failed to crack. Broome’s having an affair with the terminally ill Lorraine, which proves significant later in the series. 

Green’s imminent return sparks the events in Stay Close, as all the secrets of the past seventeen years threaten to reveal themselves. Everybody, including Megan’s husband Dave, has a secret. 

A slate of men’s murders in the area confound Detective Broome, who, along with his partner and ex-wife Cartwright, interviews the characters. Everyone provides an alibi, except for Megan’s ex-boyfriend Ray. 

Once an ambitious photographer, Ray now depends on paparazzi gigs to make ends meet. His movements suggest that he’s the killer Broome’s looking for; however, Broome has no concrete evidence to arrest Ray for the crimes. 

The film has a couple of bounty hunters – Barbie and Ken – whose killing methods evoke surprise rather than shock. Their carefree approach to murder involves poorly rehearsed dance and song routines, which dilute the gruesomeness of the kills. 

You’d expect the secret-filled film to have crazy suspense, but it doesn’t. The storylines tangle into a convoluted mess that creates little intrigue. Stay Close’s conclusion does little to save the series, as the mystery comes to a rather silly conclusion. 

Stay Close is neither scary nor suspenseful. It’s not the series to watch if you want a scare, but one that you’d enjoy if you liked the first couple of Harlan Corben films.