Ah, the suburbs!
Listen, it doesn’t matter how big your house is or how nice of a career you’ve got going or how pretty your family might be. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a nice pool or a nice house or if your sister-in-law lives right next door. It doesn’t matter how friendly the neighbors seem to be or that there’s a really hot guy at your new job. If you live in the suburbs, you are screwed.
At least, that’s what I’ve learned from watching Lifetime movies. Now, I should admit that I live in a suburb and …. well, it’s pretty nice. But I’m guessing that my neighborhood must be the exception to the rule because, as I’ve learned from watching Lifetime, every other suburban neighborhood is a hotbed of murder, betrayal, and kidnapping.
Take The Killer Next Door, for instance!
Julie (Andrea Bogart) and her ten year-old son, Matty (Nicholas Borne), have just moved into a nice, big house in the suburbs. Julie’s been having a tough time ever since her husband was killed in a tragic auto accident. But, finally, it looks like things might be getting better! She’s got a new home and a new job as a personal trainer, where she meets big, handsome Blake (John-Michael Carlton). Living right next door, she’s get her sister-in-law, Alison (Hannah Barefoot). As Alison makes clear, she’s more than willing to help Julie in whatever way possible. Alison definitely wants to look after Matty whenever Julie can’t be there. In fact, Alison is so determined to be there for Matty that she even seems to get a little bit offended when Julie hires a nanny! Hmmmm, I wonder where this could be leading….
As Julie soon discovers, she’s moved into a very tight-knit and somewhat gossipy neighborhood. In fact, there’s even a website where everyone in the neighborhood can post comments about upcoming events, along with totally mean stuff about the newest member of the community! Julie quickly discovers — with Alison’s help — that her new neighbors apparently don’t like her! Little things — like taking the trash out on the wrong day — really set them off. And then there’s the time that Julie thinks Matty has been kidnapped and she gets the entire neighborhood to set up a search party, just for Alison to come driving up in her SUV with Matty sitting in the passenger’s seat. It was all just a misunderstanding! Needless to say, Julie’s neighbors are not amused. All that drama for nothing….
Anyway, no one should be shocked to discover that Alison isn’t exactly the benevolent sister-in-law that she pretends to be. In fact, she’s setting Julie up. But will Julie realize what’s happening or will she be too caught up in arguing with her neighbors to notice that Alison is stealing her son away from her? You’ll have to watch to find out….
I always enjoy a good, “evil in the suburbs” movie so I enjoyed The Killer Next Door. It’s pretty obvious from the start that Alison is not to be trusted but that’s actually what makes a movie like this fun. You know that Julie’s being set up and the suspense comes from trying to guess how long it’s going to take Julie to figure it out. Mostly, I liked the film’s portrayal of all of Julie’s gossipy neighbors. No matter what was happening, you could always be sure that one of them would pop up in the background with a disapproving look on their face. The Killer Next Door was a fun trip to Suburban Hell.