"Reel Reviews: ‘Max Winslow and the House of Secrets’ has a fresh take on teens learning life lessons" by: Jessica Shepard

Max Winslow and the House of Secrets is a science-fiction thriller written by Jeff Wild, produced by Johnny Remo and directed by Sean Olson.
   It’s sort of like a mix of modernized versions of “The Breakfast Club,” “Clue,” and 2019’s “Escape Room.”
   The movie is pretty slow at the beginning and the ending is a bit of a letdown, but the middle is where everything shines.
   I’m talking storylines, visuals, special effects, and the teenagers exemplify every annoying trope of modern high school life.
   It’s rated PG for scary situations and peril, language and thematic content, and runs for 98 minutes.
   The movie stars Sydne Mikelle, Tanner Buchanan, Jade Chynoweth, Emery Kelly, Jason Genao with Marina Sirtis, Anton Starkman, Juli Tapken, and Chad Michael Murray.
   The movie begins with a bunch of newscasters talking about the many accomplishments of genius Atticus Virtue (Murray) before the movie switches to high school student Max Winslow (Mikelle).
   Max lives with her mother and brother, her dad having left when she was five years old.
   Max is socially awkward and spends most of her time on computers and never connecting with people in real life.
   Max’s family is in financial trouble and Max keeps hoping that her dad will come back to support them, despite not having seen him for several years.
   At school later that day, narcissist Sophia Peach (Chynoweth) pulls up to school in her mom’s car and snaps a selfie before getting out and nearly being run down by bully Aiden Ross (Kelly) on his skateboard.
   Aiden pushes past Max’s brother Ethan (Starkman), calling him a loser before moving on.
   In gym class, gamer Benny Carrasco (Genao) sits out on the bleachers and plays a video game on his iPad.
   When the gym teacher gets his attention, Benny claims h0.e has a note from his mother saying he has tendinitis (on account of playing video games all night).
   In class, Sophia and Max present their poetry for the class (Sophia having made the poem about herself) and during Max’s presentation of computer code, which she claims to be poetry in motion.
   Suddenly, a holographic image of Atticus Virtue is suddenly projected on the screen when the lights go out.
   He has taken over the high school’s TV system and says that he is choosing five students to compete for a chance to win his elite, AI-powered mansion.
   At 3:16 pm, the students that were chosen are shown a text message saying “YES” on their screens.
   These students include Sophia, Aiden, Benny, Max, and a popular student named Connor Lawson (Buchanan).
   Max’s mom Cathy (Tapken) agrees to let her daughter participate in the competition only if she texts her every hour.
   A limo picks up the kids and they chat on the way to the mansion, with Aiden pointing out that they are enemies once they arrive.
   With every perceivable teenage problem covered, the kids interact as predicted until the house separates them and the game’s afoot.
   If you’re looking for a hilarious bit of banter and the almost homicidal AI-driven house, then check it out! 

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