After watching 911 Nightmare, I continued to clean out the DVR by watching I Have Your Children. I Have Your Children originally aired on Lifetime on January 1st. That’s right — this is the first Lifetime film of the year!
Anyway, I Have Your Children is a film about hostage negotiation and, after reading that, are you still awake? For whatever reasons, there have been hundreds of movies and TV shows about hostage negotiators and they’re usually pretty boring and predictable. Some crazy person takes a group of people hostage. The SWAT team surrounds him. A hostage negotiator who is haunted by a past failure shows up and does the whole, “Just talk to me” routine. The SWAT team just wants to shoot the guy and the negotiator does the whole, “You are putting the hostages in danger!” routine. Usually, it turns out that the guy holding the hostages is doing so because he was screwed over by a bank or health insurance company or maybe he lost all of his money due to a smarmy stockbroker. There’s usually a scene where the negotiator delivers food to the hostages.
Seriously, a hostage negotiator film just writes itself. Maybe that’s why there’s so many of them.
Anyway, at first glance, I Have Your Children seems like pretty much your standard hostage negotiator film. A guy named Calum stops taking his mediation and hijacks a school bus. It turns out that Calum’s mother is dying but she can’t get the treatment she needs because of the big horrible health insurance company! Calum is demanding a huge ransom, enough money to be able to pay for his mother’s treatment. One of the kidnapped kids is the daughter of a claims adjuster at the insurance company!
The SWAT Team just wants to rush in with guns blazing and if that means that all the hostages die, so be it. Fortunately, Amber Cross (Alaina Huffman) is there to negotiate with Calum. Amber, of course, has issues of her own. A hostage died during one of her previous negotiations. Her ex-husband is planning on marrying a younger woman. (It’s a Lifetime film, after all.) Her son is being bullied at school. Fortunately, Amber’s father-in-law happens to be the chief of police and he’s going to keep Amber employed, even if a snarky reporter and the fascistic SWAT Team leader continue to insist that she’s thoroughly incompetent…
However, towards the end of the film, there’s a big twist and it kind of makes up for how predictable the film has been up to that point. Obviously, I can’t really reveal the twist without spoiling the film but I will say that it was clever and fairly unexpected and it pretty much saved the entire film from being totally forgettable. So, if you happen to watch I Have Your Children, the best advice I can give is to stick with the movie and have some faith that it will eventually pay off!
Seriously, there’s nothing wrong with having a little faith.