(Lisa recently discovered that she only has about 8 hours of space left on her DVR! It turns out that she’s been recording movies from July and she just hasn’t gotten around to watching and reviewing them yet. So, once again, Lisa is cleaning out her DVR! She is going to try to watch and review 52 movies by the end of Tuesday, December 6th! Will she make it? Keep checking the site to find out!)
On November 5th, Lifetime aired a film about the murder of six year-old JonBenet Ramsey, Who Killed JonBenet? They followed this film with a documentary called JonBenet’s Mother: Victim or Killer? I did not watch the films when they originally aired, largely because, much like Girl In The Box and Cleveland Abduction, the subject matter sounded way too disturbing to me. Instead, I just recorded them and, for a few weeks, both programs sat unwatched on my DVR.
Until earlier today, that is!
I watched both of them and then I quickly deleted both of them as well. And now I’m going to write a few words about them. In fact, I’m going to try to devote as little time as possible to these films.
Normally, I’m the first one to defend Lifetime and their movies. If you’re a regular reader of this site, you know how much I love Lifetime movies. I love them for the exact same reason that most people claim to disdain them. It’s rare that I ever see a Lifetime film that I can’t enjoy or, at the very least, defend.
But, seriously, Who Killed JonBenet? was such a misfire that I barely know where to begin. In many ways, it’s a typical true crime film. Suspects are identified. Detectives find themselves caring about the case … TOO MUCH! It ends on a note of surface ambiguity that’s deceptive because the film all but comes out and accuses Patsy Ramsey of murdering her daughter.
That thing that sets Who Killed JonBenet? apart is that the film is narrated by JonBenet Ramsey, who is apparently speaking to use beyond the grave. JonBenet tells us that she’ll always be six. And she tells us that one of the detectives is a nice lady. And it’s such an icky technique that it pretty much makes the entire film nearly unwatchable. Every time that we hear that cloying little voiceover, we’re reminded of two things: 1) this film is based on the real life rape and murder of a six year-old and 2) this movie was made specifically to exploit that event. In the end, you feel guilty for watching the damn movie in the first place.
Seeing as how Who Killed JonBenet? basically accuses Patsy Ramsey of murder, it’s interesting that it was immediately followed up by JonBenet’s Mother: Victim or Killer? JonBenet’s Mother explores Patsy’s life and pretty much comes to the conclusion that, while Patsy may have been a bit odd, she did not kill her daughter. If anything, the documentary shows that Patsy was largely the victim of a vicious media.
Like, to name just one example, Who Killed JonBenet?
Anyway, let us never speak of these two movies again. When I think of a Lifetime movie, I’d much rather think of Confessions of Go Go Girl.