Tonight, after I watched the 18th season premiere of Big Brother (that’s right, I love reality TV almost as much as I love Italian horror films, almost being the word to remember), I continued to clean out the DVR by watching The Other Wife.
The Other Wife, which premiered on the Lifetime Movie Network on March 13th, is another thriller from our friends at The Asylum. The film opens on a fairly suspenseful note, with Kate Jennings (Kimberly Hewes) preparing to take a shower when she heard someone walking around her house. At first, she assumes that it’s her husband, Billy (George Stumpf). However, she then gets a text from Billy informing her that he’s on his way.
And seriously, that is such a HOLY SHIT moment that it carries the first hour of the entire film. Seriously, there is nothing scarier than suddenly realizing that you are not only not alone but that you have no idea who the other person is. That’s the type of nightmare fuel that gives birth to grisly urban legends!
Kate looks around the house and suddenly spots a hulking, bald man (Nick Principe) searching Billy’s office. Though Kate doesn’t know it, that bald man is named Ed Warwick and he’s very dangerous. He chases her through the house until she can call the police and he leaves her so terrified that she doesn’t even notice that he somehow knows her first name.
When the police arrive, they accidentally arrest Billy and Ed escapes. After getting things sorted out with the cops, Billy assures Kate that Ed was just a random burglar and that everything will be okay. But, if that’s true, why does Kate come home the next day to discover that Billy has hung himself?
With her husband dead, Kate’s seemingly perfect life falls apart. She discovers that Billy was in debt when he died and her credit has been destroyed. Even worse, she discovers that Billy was apparently seeing a woman named Deb (Tonya Key).
In many ways, Deb is Kate’s exact opposite. Kate is polite and refined. Deb is the type who will stand outside and scream at a delivery driver. Kate has been unable to get pregnant. Deb is pregnant. In fact, it would seem that the only thing that Deb and Kate have in common is that they were both married to Billy.
That’s right — Billy was a bigamist! He was also a bigamist who owed a lot of money to the mob. The mob has hired Ed to get their money. Ed delivers an ultimatum to both Billy’s wives. If he doesn’t get the money that Billy owed, Ed will murder Deb and frame Kate. From totally different world and linked only by their husband’s treachery, Deb and Kate will have to work together to get out of this mess.
There’s a great moment in The Other Wife where a police detective is talking to Deb and Kate. “Mrs. Jennings,” the detective said. Both Deb and Kate looked up at the same time and say, “yes?” In many ways, that scene epitomizes The Other Wife. Despite the announcement, during the opening credits, that what we’re watching is based on a true story, The Other Wife is not a movie that is meant to be taken all that seriously. The Other Wife is silly entertainment in the style of most Asylum films, featuring a likable cast and an enjoyably melodramatic storyline. Tonya Key especially seems to be having fun in the role of the outspoken Deb. That said, the real star of the film is Nick Principe, who is thoroughly menacing as the psycho hit man.
The Other Wife was directed by Nick Lyon, who also did the enjoyably pulpy They Found Hell. He does a good job here of keeping the action moving and encouraging the audience not to worry too much about any holes in the plot.
All in all, it’s another enjoyable melodrama from The Asylum!