It is only May, and yet 2024 is already shaping up to be a banner year for moviemaking nepo babies. First came Lola, written and directed by Nicola Peltz-Beckham, the daughter of the billionaire who keeps trying to buy his way onto Disney’s board of directors. And now, like a golden narwhal rising majestically from the tropical ocean, comes Strictly Confidential, written and directed by Damian Hurley.

Yes, that Damian Hurley. Damian is Elizabeth Hurley’s 22-year-old son. Although his most high-profile work to date is taking cringey bikini shots of his mother for Instagram, Hurley junior is also, apparently, something of an auteur. Or at least he would be, had Strictly Confidential not been so abject that it achieved a 10 percent critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes. Still, give the man a break.

Writer-director Hurley on the set of Strictly Confidential.

If you have heard about Strictly Confidential in the press, it’s likely because it’s an erotic thriller that stars the director’s mother, and has therefore single-handedly inspired the next three decades of Freudian psychoanalysis. Did Damian specifically write an oral-sex scene with his mom in mind? What must it have been like to shoot? Was an intimacy coordinator present? Did their head immediately burst into flames when they saw what the scene would entail?

However, buyer beware. If you plan to watch Strictly Confidential purely for its disconcerting sexual content, you will leave disappointed. Although Damian’s direction of that particular scene almost certainly contained the phrase “more tongue”—because, honestly, there is no way he left that much tongue in by accident—it isn’t particularly sexy. In fact, for something that bills itself as an erotic thriller, Strictly Confidential is approximately as sexy as a potato. The titillation just sits there, awkward and self-conscious, until it takes the first possible opportunity to abandon ship.

Did Damian specifically write an oral-sex scene with his mom in mind?

Indeed, the film is far more interested in its plot, which would have been a sensible choice if any of it made even a lick of sense. A girl commits suicide, and all her friends convene at her mother’s villa—located in the part of the Caribbean with the fewest possible Black people—to make sense of the tragedy. This is something they largely achieve by wearing pretty dresses and gazing wistfully into the middle distance in full makeup for what feels like several hours, followed by a series of twists so genuinely inexplicable that they would be perfect as parody. And then it ends.

What a bizarre film this is. It’s horrible to look at, bright and flat and dull. The soundtrack is pure Hallmark, as if the composer kept nodding off on the keyboard pre-set labeled “Mushy Intrigue.” The acting is obviously sub-par, too, but I have a theory about this. You might remember the 2017 film Wonder Woman, which contained a long prologue set on the heroine’s home island. The director, Patty Jenkins, made all the actresses in these scenes adopt a loose approximation of Gal Gadot’s Israeli accent, to help her blend in with everyone. I think a similar thing might have happened here.

Freddie Thorp and Georgia Lock in the film.

Elizabeth Hurley is many (or, rather, some) things, but a naturally gifted actress is not one of them. Extremely limited in range, she has always struggled when the script calls for any emotion that isn’t either “haughty contempt” or “blank sexiness.” This is as true of her performance in Strictly Confidential as it is of any other movie in her filmography. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that Damian has deliberately surrounded her with equally flat performers, to help conceal her shortcomings. This isn’t a film where Elizabeth Hurley’s acting sticks out like a sore thumb. It’s one where all the characters wander around blankly, monotoning their lines like barely sentient shop mannequins. And it works: Elizabeth Hurley barely stands out at all. Damian is a genius!

Despite its lousy execution—not to mention the title, a combination of words so generic that it seems deliberately designed to be concealed by Google—I have faith that Strictly Confidential will eventually find its audience. Obviously, that audience will be gangs of drunk, camp-loving rubberneckers who enjoy hooting at terrible films, but that still counts.

And anyway, if nothing else, Strictly Confidential is a far better film than Lola. Peltz-Beckham’s fatal flaw was indulging in poverty tourism, cluelessly ramping up the misery of her title character as only a billionaire heiress could. Damian, nevertheless, had the foresight to write exactly what he knows. This is a film about several hollow-eyed, vaguely aristocratic models drifting around Saint Kitts and Nevis without purpose. They dress beautifully. They don’t seem to have proper jobs. They barely qualify as human beings. As such, you could argue that Strictly Confidential is actually a work of great verisimilitude.

Strictly Confidential is available to rent on Amazon and Apple TV

Stuart Heritage is a Writer at Large at AIR MAIL. He is the author of Bald: How I Slowly Learned to Not Hate Having No Hair (And You Can Too)