What Lisa Watched Last Night #146: A Fatal Obsession (dir by James Camali)


Last night, I watched the premiere of A Fatal Obsession on the Lifetime Movie Network!

ER in FO

Why Was I Watching It?

So, for the past month, Lifetime has exclusively been showing holiday movies.  And don’t get me wrong — I love the holidays, I enjoy holiday movies, and I’m certainly not complaining.  I can understand why Lifetime has made the programming choice that they have and, during this week, keep an eye out for my reviews of all of those Lifetime Christmas movies.  But, at the same time, I have been missing the melodrama that made Lifetime famous.  So, when I saw that the Lifetime Movie Network would be premiering a movie that had nothing to do with Santa Claus, I simply had to watch!

What Was It About?

Michael Ryan (Eric Roberts) is a horror author who is not just famous for giving his readers nightmares.  He’s also famous for being a recovering alcoholic.  Except, he’s not really in recovery.  Instead, he’s still drinking, he’s still violent, and he’s still dangerous abusive.  When his wife, photographer Christie (Tracy Nelson), and teenage daughter, Miri (Remington Moses) finally leave him, Michael spirals into madness.  Soon, Michael has vanished and Christie’s best friend turns up dead.

Could Michael still be out there, trying to track down his wife and daughter?  He could be.  Then again, Christie and Miri have met a lot of other strange characters since starting their new life.  Their neighbors, Ben (George Saunders) and his sullen son, Kyle (Colin Chase), seem to be a little bit off.  And then, of course, there’s Harrison (David Winning), the aspiring actor who has hired Christie to take his headshots….

What Worked?

Oh my God, this is one of the most melodramatic, over-the-top, implausible films that I’ve ever seen so, of course, I had to love it.  Improbable plot twists?  Gloating villains?  Forbidden love?  Questionable life choices?  This film had it all and thank the television Gods for that!

I also really liked the look of the film.  The snowy and overcast images were wonderfully chilly and atmospheric, giving the entire movie a dream-like atmosphere.

And, on top of all that, you had Eric Roberts doing his Eric Roberts thing.  Roberts is such an eccentric actor that he’s always interesting to watch, regardless of the role.  And he actually did a pretty good job, creating a frighteningly plausible portrait of a serial abuser.

What Did Not Work?

It all worked.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

Naturally, I related to the character of Meri, the intelligent but rebellious daughter who was struggling to deal with all the ugliness around her.  Remington Moses did a good job and was believable in her struggle to deal with her family’s legacy of abuse.

Lessons Learned

Just because your paranoid, that doesn’t mean that people aren’t out to get you.

6 responses to “What Lisa Watched Last Night #146: A Fatal Obsession (dir by James Camali)

  1. Pingback: 2015 in Review: The Best of Lifetime | Through the Shattered Lens

  2. Omg. Really bad. So Eric Roberts gets plastic surgery that makes him not only totally unrecognizable, but taller too. And magically stops drinking.

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  3. It looks like this (professional??) reviewer was the only one who gave this turkey (an unconditional!!) thumbs up, and I honestly don’t understand why. To say that it all worked is perplexing. Anyway, I caught the movie pretty much at the beginning and, not having read the movie description and plot, actually found the movie engrossing as it went along. It was, for me, developing into a pretty good mystery with creditable acting and a fair amount of suspense…until 3/4 of the way thru when Harrison reaches across his face and pulls off, from the back of his neck, his entire face and head mask, revealing Michael. They may as well have done that, it would’ve been just as believable as the “plastic surgery” Michael received to make his face naturally younger (with no tightness), voice different, taller, different personality with different habits (I’m sure everybody’d see THIS plastic surgeon if they’d only have the time and money Michael apparently did). This is the point where the movie fell off the cliff and became laughable, ‘cuz it didn’t have to go there, it didn’t need that device. With all its editing glitches it was still proceeding nicely, and I was expecting Michael to redeem himself and save the day at the end by rescuing Chris and Miri from who I suspected was a very creepy Harrison. It would’ve been a satisfying conclusion for a daughter who’d defended him and a wife who probably still loved him, especially because of their suspicions of him.

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    • Exactly. The film was ludicrous and therefore a lot of fun. People don’t watch Lifetime films because they’re expecting to see a conventionally good movie. They watch them specifically because they are so over the top and silly. Therefore, the more silly and over the top a Lifetime film is, the more it works.

      Liked by 1 person

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