Safe Haven

Thoughts on, and a place to discuss, the plot details we can't reveal in our review.

“So how does Cobie Smulders figure into all of this?” I kept asking as she meandered in and out of the narrative, offering advice to Hough, but otherwise serving no function. Then about halfway through, former A.V. Club editor Keith Phipps leaned over to me and said, “She’s a ghost.” He claimed at the time that he was only joking about that ridiculous possibility, but the moment he said it, it was totally obvious: Smulders is never seen talking to anyone else in this close-knit town, and no one ever references her. But the film waits until the end for the big reveal, which turns out to be even cheesier than it sounds. Before dying, Duhamel’s wife penned a series of letters to be opened on various occasions, like her son’s 18th birthday or graduation day. Among those letters is one addressed “To Her,” given to the woman considered worthy enough to replace the wife as part of the family. (And a generous letter it is, too. If I were dying of cancer and wrote a similar letter, it would consist of one sentence: “Get your hands off my wife!”) Inside the letter is a photo of the deceased with Duhamel and their kids—and yes, it’s Smulders, who has communed with Hough from beyond the grave. Pretty spooky, eh?

In other twist news, it turns out that the detective so doggedly pursuing Hough for murder is, in fact, the boozing, abusive husband she stabbed in self-defense. But no points for seeing that one coming early.

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