Netflix's thriller Only Mine is based on a true story — sort of

Gabriella Geisinger
·4-min read
Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

There is never a good time to release a thriller about a violently murderous domestic abuser who happens to be a cop and uses his power to get away with it. But right now is definitely not a good time.

This is probably why Only Mine, the straight to VOD movie made in 2018, is only now being released in the UK on Netflix. The only thing that truly makes the movie compelling is that it begins with the words: based on a true story.

Unfortunately, this is a lie. Only Mine is based on the truth that lots of women are shot at by their current or former partners, and sometimes they survive, but most often, they don't.

Warning: Only Mine spoilers follow.

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

The true story that Only Mine claims to be based on is that of Laura Kucera who, in 1995, was kidnapped and shot by her ex-boyfriend, against whom she'd taken out a protection order. She survived for four days unconscious in a ditch, before being found when her ex came to his senses and told the authorities where he'd left her for dead.

It's a grim story and one that only very basely informs the plot of Only Mine, in which college-bound Julie (Amber Midthunder) begins dating a cop named David (Brett Zimmerman) who soon turns possessive and threatening. His behaviour only escalates when she tries to break up with him.

There isn't much else to the movie's story. We watch as he slowly ruins her life, spreading rumours about her being an alcoholic, hacking her email and withdrawing her college application, and more.

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

With nowhere else to turn, Julie finds David's ex-girlfriend Alicia, who slams the door in Julie's face. It's on her way home from this visit that David grabs her, she attempts to flee, leading to him shooting her in the leg and back.

Unlike the true story of Laura Kucera, Julie rouses and makes her way to David's family cabin where she kills him in revenge. What makes Only Mine even weirder is that some of the movie is filmed as if it's a documentary about the crime, leading to bizarre 'interviews' with her friends, David's boss, and the detective brought in to find Julie.

The movie ends with everyone agreeing that Julie's survival was miraculous, and that, really, she shouldn't be alive. "But I am," Julie says, staring into the camera (though not in an interview setting?) before the movie cuts to a title card that reads:

"In 1995, Laura Kucera was kidnapped, shot in the head, and left to die. She lived. Her attacker remains in prison to this day. This film is dedicated to Laura, and to victims of abuse everywhere."

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

Only Mine is certainly bizarre — it's not quite campy enough to be trashy, nor good enough to be, well, good. It's just bad, and what makes it worse is that it's trying to say something serious, but fails.

And even worse (yes it gets worse) is that the real-life Laura Kucera died in a car crash only a year after her miraculous survival. Her story is far more devastating than Only Mine makes it out to be, but neither does Only Mine act as a sort of 'wish fulfilment' of what could have been for Laura Kucera.

All in all, it'll leave you bored and depressed, an execrable combination that Kucera, and all other victims of abuse, don't deserve.

We would encourage any readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story to contact Refuge (www.refuge.org.uk) or Women's Aid (www.womensaid.org.uk). The 24-hour, freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline is 0808 2000 247. The US National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or text LOVEIS to 22522.

Only Mine is now available on Netflix

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