Earlier, I watched the latest Lifetime original film, Kept Woman!
Why Was I Watching It?
Well, why not? First off, it was on Lifetime. Secondly, the commercials made it look really creepy. Third, I checked on the imdb and I discovered that this film was made in Canada and everyone knows how much I love Canada. And finally, I read a very misleading article on Bustle that insinuated that this film was based on the Ariel Castro case.
What Was It About?
One night, after an evening at the theater, Jessica (Courtney Ford) and her fiancée Evan (Andrew W. Walker) return to their apartment and discover that they’re being robbed by a guy who looks like Jack Black’s younger, thinner brother.
Jessica says, “Enough of this city living! We’re moving to the suburbs!” Evan agrees to use his life savings to purchase a house in the suburbs. It’s here that Jessica will work on her book while skyping with her true crime-obsessed friend Oscar (Jesse Camacho).
From the minute he first shows up and offers them a bottle of wine as a welcoming gift, it’s obvious that there is something off about their new neighbor, Simon (Shaun Benson). For one thing, he dresses like he’s in a community theater production of The Music Man. He’s a professor of Men’s Studies at the local university and, when he comes over for dinner, he’s clearly both offended and aroused by the sight of Jessica’s visible bra straps. Also, he’s likes to wear bowties and we all know that, in a Lifetime movie, bowties often equal evil.
Of course, the main clue that there’s something wrong with Simon comes when he kidnaps Jessica and locks her in his basement. There’s another woman already living in the basement. Her name is Robin (Rachel Wilson) and she’s been down in the basement for so long that she’s now in love with Simon.
And did I mention that the basement is specifically made up to look like the 1950s?
Because it so totally is!
Oh my God! Shaun Benson was sooooo creepy! Seriously, he gave a great over-the-top psycho performance in this film. Rachel Wilson did a good job too, poignantly portraying just how brainwashed her character had become. As well, whoever designed and decorated that basement deserves some sort of award. It was truly a creepy location.
What Did Not Work?
This is one of those films that should have been an insane masterpiece but, somehow, it never worked quite as well as I wanted it to. The film could never seem to quite decide whether it wanted to be an over-the-top melodrama or a serious look at abduction, abuse, and brainwashing. Courtney Ford and Andrew W. Walker did not have much chemistry as the endangered couple and, for the film to work, characters often had to behave in the stupidest way possible. Even the film’s ending, which was obviously meant to be a big “You go, girl!” moment, felt forced.
“Oh my God! Just like me!” Moments
Much like Jessica, I am totally obsessed with true crime and I enjoy trying to solve real-life unsolved mysteries. I also imagine that, much like Jessica, I would probably break into my neighbor’s house to investigate whether he was a potential murderer.
Creepy neighbors should be handled with extreme caution.