Netflix review: Love never dies in 'The In Between'

Fred Hawson

Posted at Apr 16 2022 10:19 AM

A scene from 'The In Between'
A scene from 'The In Between'

Tessa (Joey King) was recovering from a vehicular accident involving her and her boyfriend Skylar (Kyle Allen). Skylar did not make it alive, and this caused Tessa to be all messed up. One day, she began experiencing unusual paranormal phenomena involving her photography equipment, the mobile phones at the examination site, and the GPS system in her car. Tessa is convinced that Skylar was trying to get through to her from the "in-between."

While the present storyline dealt on the ghostly manifestations of Skylar to Tessa, the evolution of their love story was told in flashbacks. It all began in a movie house featuring a double-feature of classic films per month. Tessa was watching a screening of French film "Betty Blue" (1986) but there were no English subtitles. Multilingual jock Skylar sat down beside her and offered to translate for her line by line. 

The best scenes of this film include the rowing competition scene, the driving scene (where their theme song "Never Tear Us Apart" by INXS was first heard) and the rowboat scene at the lake. The romantic chemistry between Joey King (age 22) and Kyle Allen (age 27) were best felt during these carefree, happy moments. They may not really be the main points of the story, but their cinematography and musical score were very well-executed. 

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On the other hand, the supernatural aspects of the story were awkwardly told. I guess we cannot really expect too much logic from paranormal story elements, but these were not that well-translated on the screen. These scenes were only saved by the sensitive performance of Joey King and the perky energy of Celeste O'Connor (who we first met in "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" last year) as Tessa's best friend Shannon. 

There were some quotable meditations about love. Tessa's photography had artistic flair. Tessa's difficult childhood and her adoptive parents she never really connected with was another emotional pivot. 

The medical aspect about Tessa's literally broken heart was a bit too melodramatic and unconvincing towards the end. Tessa's climactic decision may be seem puzzling one given what she had gone through to get to that moment. 

This review was originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."