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As a drinking game about tired old thriller clichés The Memory Game has some mileage in it, but otherwise there’s preciously little to recommend in this underwhelming adaptation.

One of the characters in The Memory Game is described as a Volvo: someone so grey and bland he has close to zero appeal to anyone. The line could describe this movie, a risk-free and thrill-free Dutch-Flemish co-production, as well.

The movie is based on a bestselling novel by British writing duo Nicci French and centres around a forty-something woman who struggles to recall the events of a fatal evening, 25 years ago, when her best friend (whose body has recently been found) went missing.

So far, so classic thriller set-up, as predictably impromptu sexual encounters happen, family secrets are unearthed and the lead character starts to question her own sanity. Yet The Memory Game isn't just a clichéd, bland movie, it's a film that that doesn't even try to get out of first gear.

From the obnoxiously expositional dialogues to the boring pop-psychology, from the ill thought-out (and in the final act: backfiring) addition of woke commentary to a visual aesthetic that is virtually non-existant, The Memory Game screams 'cheap bestseller cash grab' from the first second to the last.

Luckily it seems audiences have not been fooled as The Memory Game flopped brutally in Belgian and Dutch cinemas. With some luck, this film will be a memory they'll soon forget all about altogether.

release: 2023

director: Jan Verheyen, Lien Willaert

starring: Anna Drijver, Gert Winckelmans, Louis Talpe, Maarten Heijmans


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