Netflix’s ‘Windfall’ Will Have You Trying to Guess Who the Real Villain Is

Lily Collins, Jesse Plemons, Jason Segel in Windfall

A simple burglary exposes some very complicated issues for a wealthy couple in this noirish thriller.

Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother) stars as a seemingly despondent drifter we first meet as he’s savoring the luxuries of a beautiful Ojai, California, home he’s broken into. His crime is soon interrupted by the unexpected arrival of the owners, known only as CEO (The Power of the Dog’s Jesse Plemons) and his wife (Emily in Paris Lily Collins, above center, with Segel and Plemons). After the thief takes the couple hostage, what follows is a tense, twisty two days of revelations and reversals as it becomes less and less clear who the real villain is.

“I watched Chinatown quite a few times,” admits director Charlie McDowell, who used that classic film as a reference point for creating Windfall’s unexpectedly dark vibe.

Also unexpected are the performances. “I wanted to make something where all three actors were playing against their type,” says McDowell, adding that his close ties to the cast—he’s married to Collins and has been friends with both Plemons and Segel for years—allowed for a film that is as intimate as it is unsettling. “When you have a group of people that feels really safe and connected to each other,” he continues, “I think you’re able to break outside of this box.”

Windfall, Movie Premiere, Friday, March 18, Netflix