Are you a thriller movie fan seeking a good movie with multiple plot twists? 2023 has brought us a new thriller to add to the list, and today, we are going to cover some important aspects to consider before watching. The Tutor is a mystery/thriller movie released on 4 March 2023. The thriller stars Garret Hedlund as Ethan, Noah Schnapp as Jackson, and Victoria Justice as Annie.
Thriller fans have adopted different approaches to analysing this movie and whether it is worth the watch. This is probably one of the movies that created huge conflict between viewers to the point that they are actually fighting over it in comments! It is really hard to tell if it is only a matter of different perspectives or if the movie really failed to impress the audience. Without further ado, let’s dive into The Tutor‘s plot and tackle its most controversial parts.
The Tutor: Plot Summary
As The Tutor begins, we see Ethan, obviously a tutor, working with teenagers in different houses, and they all have something in common. All these places are high-class properties, which tells us that Ethan only tutors those from a high social class. Ethan’s other noticeable feature is that all his students develop strong bonds and connections with him, making him successful in what he does for a living.
Ethan and Annie are expecting a baby, making him eager to earn as much money as possible to secure his child’s future. One day, he gets a tutoring request with a daily salary of $2500. He immediately accepts and moves to a mansion where he will tutor a boy named Jackson. The boy seems intelligent and quiet, and Ethan is awed by his intelligence and educational abilities.
However, Jackson lives in the mansion with his cousin, and there are no traces of his parents. Things start to get awkward when Jackson asks Ethan about his feelings towards having a baby, and Ethan does not even mention anything about this pregnancy or his private life. The whole tutoring experience in that mansion becomes strange and uncomfortable for Ethan, and Jackson’s behaviours towards him are obsessive and cross the student-tutor line.
What Is Happening in the Mansion?
Jackson’s behaviours towards Ethan are not understandable. One minute, he is obsessed with him; the other, he drugs him, and Ethan wakes up to find himself thrown in the lake! Jackson’s attitude in the movie’s first half could be explained as a reaction to his mother being taken away (as he mentioned to Ethan), which could lead him to develop mental and psychological health issues. However, what happens next takes the plot to a whole different place. (SPOILERS ALERT)
Instead of being mentally disturbed, Jackson becomes a vengeful son, trying to set things right for his murdered mother. We learn that Ethan was in a relationship with Jackson’s mother when he was seven and that she committed suicide the night Ethan left her. Later, under the provocative acts of Jackson, Ethan confesses to killing Jackson’s mother, and he is the one who turns out to be a disturbed psycho!
The frame of The Tutor‘s plot sounds like good thriller material that could really benefit from a strong script to support the main plot and unpredictable twists. However, to some, the script was poorly written and lacked significant points that would have taken the movie to a whole different place. On the other hand, the movie has many supporters who find the plot and the script perfectly produced and worth their time. So, what is that all about?
Although The Tutor‘s plot seems to have great potential to be tailored in a psychological thriller movie context, unfortunately, it contains many plot holes that upset many people while watching. On the other hand, the second part of the audience defends the plot and explains the parts seen as plot holes, saying that those who hated the movie were not paying attention to the details. Let’s see some of the reasons why this movie could have turned out much better.
No Character Depth
The characters in The Tutor seem flat, as we are not given enough background on them to know why they act the way they do. It is very important when watching a movie, especially a psychological thriller, to understand the past events that the characters lived, how they shaped their current personalities, and, thus, the hidden motives behind their acts.
In some parts of The Tutor, we see the main characters make strange decisions that we do not have a clear explanation for. Ethan, for instance, accepted the job offer without checking the place he was going to stay in. He discovered that Jackson was stalking him, taking pictures of him and his girlfriend, and still, he kept living in the mansion as if nothing had happened!
Moving on to Annie, it is weird how she always takes Jackson’s side. She does not believe Ethan, she does not try to listen to him, and she constantly thinks of Jackson as a victim! This part can hardly be explained because the couple is in love and expecting a baby, so why doesn’t she at least give her partner a chance to explain himself? Her actions do not add up, making it harder for the viewer to be interested in what happens next.
A Lot of WHYs
During The Tutor, we notice a lot of unanswered questions. For example, Why does Ethan tolerate being fired from his job when he could prove himself innocent? Why hasn’t he told his boss that Jackson’s father is dead and that it was someone else who called him? And how could he even get fired from a job that was done under the table? All of these holes are provocative and don’t make any sense.
Cast and Crew of The Tutor
The shining star in The Tutor, and the one who offered the best performance, is definitely Noah Schnapp. Schnapp is the star of Netflix’s Stranger Things, playing Will Byers. His performance in The Tutor shows his potential and amazing talent outside the Stranger Things context. Needless to say, it would have been great for Noah if his talent had been shown in a more complex and deep storyline.
The Tutor also stars Garrett Hedlund and Victoria Justice, who many of us know from the show Victorious. Both stars did their best in the movie, but the plot itself always had something missing. Jordan Ross directs the movie, and Ryan King is the one who wrote the story! King is an actor and screenwriter. He also wrote the thriller/drama Black Flies, which follows a newbie paramedic’s journey in his first year in the field.
Probably the only message we can learn from this movie is one we learn from many psychological thrillers: never fully trust that you know someone, even if you spent your whole life with them. This was Annie’s point of view when she discovered the reality of the love of her life, Ethan.
The Tutor‘s Defenders
As we previously mentioned, there are two different perspectives when it comes to liking or disliking the movie. We already viewed some of the reasons that made viewers dislike it; now, let’s see what makes others like it so much.
Those who defend the movie believe that people who dislike it are not paying attention to the details, which is why they can’t understand what is happening. For instance, when Annie defended Jackson instead of Ethan, they explained that as a reaction to Ethan’s cheating on her in the past. They also say that her reaction is justified as Ethan is a hardcore drinker, and he commits stupid acts when he drinks.
They also believe the movie is deep, and each event is built on a previous one that some people may have yet to notice. In other words, they strongly support the movie and believe it is amazing and definitely worth the watch. Now that we have briefly discussed the viewers’ two points of view, which one do you agree with? Do you really think watching this movie is a waste of time, or would you recommend it to others?
The Essence of Thriller Movies
Usually, thriller fans seek psychological thriller movies with unexpected twists! If you are used to watching thrillers, your mind is probably trained to expect the next move, which makes the plot predictable and boring. Therefore, fans judge these movies by their ability to create unexpected plot twists naturally without being forced into the scenes. Plot twists are not just a matter of filmmaking or storytelling; they are also included in psychological and cognitive research as they tell a lot about how the human brain works.
That is what made some viewers upset about The Tutor because they felt like there were many unneeded twists, as they didn’t make any sense, and they seemed forced into the script. So, whether you are into plot twists or not is an important factor in how you view The Tutor.