Lifetime Movie Review: Homekilling Queen (dir by Alexandre Carrière)

Poor Whitney Manning!

As the central character of the Lifetime film, Homekilling Queen, Whitney (played by Kaitlyn Bernard) only wants one thing.  She wants to be homecoming queen!  And really, why shouldn’t she be?  She believes that she’s the most popular girl in the entire school, despite the fact that no one actually seems to like her.  Add to that, she’s rich and serving as homecoming queen is practically a family tradition!  Her mother, Connie (Ashley Jones), was homecoming queen.  So was her grandmother, Evelyn (Jennifer Dale).  Both Connie and Evelyn are determined that Whitney will be the next homecoming queen.  Connie’s even taught her how to do a proper pageant wave.

How determined is Whitney?  She’s so determined that, over the summer, she even murdered one of her rivals!  That’s determination!

Still, things are never quite as easy as they should be.  For instance, Whitney may think that she has the election all sewn up but Natasha Hart (Kayleigh Shikanai) feels differently.  Natasha is sick of the school being run by mean girls like Whitney.  Natasha decides that she’s going to run against Whitney!

At first, Whitney is dismissive of Natasha and her campaign.  Everyone knows that Natasha had a drug problem in the past.  Apparently, she drove her car into the bleachers while high on oxy.  (This automatically makes Natasha cooler than anyone I went to high school with.)  However, Natasha is now clean and sober and looking to make the world a better place.  To Whitney’s shock, Natasha starts to pick up support for her campaign.  Even after Whitney sends everyone in school a nude picture that’s been photoshopped to look like Natasha, Natasha’s campaign continues to build momentum.

Well, if photoshopped nudes won’t knock Natasha out of the race, how about planting drugs on her?  And if Whitney has to murder someone to get those drugs …. well, that’s politics.

It’s an interesting film.  On the one hand, you’re supposed to dislike Whitney, Connie, and Evelyn.  And it is true that Whitney does commit a murder or two.  On the other hand, they’re all so determined to win that homecoming election that you can’t help but admire the level of their dedication.  If it means giving students gifts to win their vote, Whitney’s willing to do it.  If it means seducing the school’s creepy principal to keep her daughter from being disqualified, Connie’s going to do just that.  Kaitlyn Bernard, Ashley Jones, and Jennifer Dale all really dig into their roles and do a great job at capturing the unhinged obsessiveness of their characters.  Jennifer Dale is especially a marvel as the coldy pragmatic Evelyn.  When she glares at anyone who would stand in her granddaughter’s way, you’re left with no doubt that Evelyn is not someone who you would want to mess with.  She’s scary but you would definitely want her to have your back in a confrontation.

Also doing a good job were Kayleigh Shikanai and Krista Bridges, who were perfectly cast as mother and daughter.  Every scene between them rang true and, watching them, I was reminded of the way that my mom and I would relate to each other.  They brought an unexpected sense of reality to a film that could have otherwise just been an enjoyably over-the-top melodrama.

Homekilling Queen was a lot of fun and, given the number of times that Lifetime rebroadcasts all of their films over the year, it’s one to keep an eye out for.

Lifetime Film Review: A Mother on the Edge (dir by Jason Bourque)

What would you do if, one day, you were suddenly told that everything that you believed was a delusion?

That’s question that rests at the heart of A Mother On The Edge, a film that aired on Lifetime earlier this month.

The mother of the title is Blair Ayken (Kelly Thiebaud).  When we first meet Blair, her life is definitely in flux.  She’s wrapped up in a lawsuit with a former business partner.  Her sleazy ex-husband, Simon (Matt Hamilton), is …. well, he’s acting like a sleazy ex-husband.  She still occasionally has nightmares about a serious auto accident that occurred a year earlier.  Perhaps the only bright spot in her life is her daughter, Lori (Lina Renna).

Or is she?

One day, Blair goes to her daughter’s school and can’t find Lori.  When she goes to the office, she’s informed that the school has never had a student named Lori Ayken.  When she talks to the students who she believed to be Lori’s classmates, they all tell her that they’ve never seen or heard of Lori.  When Blair goes to her friend and lawyer, Cynthia (Alison Wandzura), Cynthia reveals that, though she’s heard a lot about Lori from Blair, she’s never actually met her.  Finally, when Blair confronts Simon and demands to know where Lori is, Simon tells her that she’s gone crazy.  Lori, he explains, has been dead for a year.  She died in the very same car accident about which Blair has been having nightmares.

Blair swears that her daughter is alive and has been kidnapped.  Everyone around her swears that Lori has been dead for a year and that Blair has lost her mind.  Even Cynthia gets a little bit upset when Blair speaks up at a court hearing and starts to explain her theory that everyone but her is either incorrect or lying.  So, who is correct?  The best thing about A Mother On The Edge is that it keeps you guessing.  Since Blair is the main character and Simon is such a sleaze, our natural instinct is to believe her.  But, it’s hard not to have doubts.  As sure as Blair is that Lori is alive, everyone else seems to be equally sure that Blair is delusional.  As I watched the film, I found myself going back and forth.  At first, I was like, “Well, this is obviously a setup” but then I was like, “Maybe Blair really is crazy.”

A lot of that was due to the performance of Kelly Thiebaud.  She did a great job capturing both Blair’s initial panic and also her determination to not only prove that Lori was alive but to also rescue her.  Thiebaud brought just enough of a nervous edginess to her performance that you easily could understand why people might view her as being unbalanced and, as a result, you were never quite sure just how much you should trust her beliefs.  She kept you wondering.  It was a performance that left me wondering how I was would react and what I would do if I ever found myself in Blair’s situation.

I also liked the performance of Phillip Mitchell, who played a character known as The Fixer and who brought just the right combination of menace and annoyance to his role.  I can’t reveal too much about his role without spoiling the film but Mitchell definitely made an impression.

A Mother On The Edge originally aired on Lifetime on May 3rd.  Fortunately, Lifetime tends to rebroadcast their films several times during the year so keep an eye out for A Mother On The Edge.

What Lisa Watched Last Night #198: Psycho Stripper (dir by Jake Helgren)

Last night, I watched the latest Lifetime premiere, Psycho Stripper!Why Was I Watching It?

Why was I watching it?  Seriously, with a name like Psycho Stripper, how couldn’t I watch it!?  There’s an art to coming up with a good title and whoever came up with Psycho Stripper has obviously perfected that art.  The title was so great that I even abandoned the neighborhood Cinco De Mayo party early, just so I could watch the movie in the comfort of my own home.  That’s the power of a perfect title!

Also, I have to give some credit to Lifetime, here.  Before they showed Psycho Stripper, they showed Magic Mike.  So, on Sunday night, viewers got a chance to see two separate versions of the life of a male stripper, the yellow-tinted Steven Soderbergh version (seriously, I like Magic Mike but, whenever I watch it, I worry all that yellow is going to burn my retinas) and the wonderfully over-the-top Lifetime version!

What Was It About?

Amber (Karissa Lee Staples) owns her own dance studio, has a lot of friends, and is about to get married to the wealthy (if kinda wimpy) Owen (Mark Hapka).

Hunter (Tyler Johnson) is a handsome and charming male stripper who dresses up like a fireman, can change a flat tire, and who happens to be really good with an ax.

Together, they solve crimes!

No, not really.  Instead, Hunter shows up at Amber’s bachelorette party.  He’s supposed to just be a part of the night’s entertainment but, instead, Hunter keeps showing up wherever Amber happens to be.  First, he just wants dance lessons.  Then, he’s kind of dating Amber’s best friend, Taryn (Rachele Brooke Smith).  Then, he’s bringing Amber a gift to thank her for the lessons.  Suddenly, he’s asking Amber if she wants to get lunch!  Amber doesn’t think that it’s a good idea for her to have lunch with Hunter, especially since Owen seems to have a hang-up about her hanging out with a mysterious man who has a great body.

Then again, Owen has issues of his own.  For instance, he doesn’t seem to have quite gotten over his previous girlfriend, the one who died mysteriously….

What Worked?

Okay, so I absolutely loved this movie.  I mean, how couldn’t I?  It combined two of my favorite things: over-the-top, in-your-face melodrama and dancing!  This movie was a lot of fun and Tyler Johnson really threw himself into playing the role of the psycho stripper.

The film also had a bit of a subversive side, as well.  Hunter may be a psycho but you still kind of find yourself on his side, if just because everyone else in the movie is so judgmental of him and how he makes his living.  Owen’s family is extremely wealthy and all of his friends are extremely privileged.  When they start giving Hunter a hard time about being a stripper (with one of them even throwing a dollar bill at him), you can’t help but feel a little bit bad for him.  (Of course, then he starts killing people and you’re like, “Okay, never mind….”)

My favorite character was Taryn, who was not only a good dancer but also the greatest best friends that one could possibly hope for.  She got all the best lines.  My personal favorite was, “We’re going to get in this car and plow his ass down!”

What Didn’t Work?

It all worked.  This was Lifetime at its best.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

A Lifetime film set in a dance studio?  To be honest, almost the entire film was an “Oh my God!  Just like me!” moment.  I related to Taryn.  I’d like to think that, if there was a psycho wandering around outside, I too would be smart enough to grab a knife before going outside.

The last Bachelorette Party that I went to had a stripping fireman, just like this movie.  However, I don’t think he ever killed anyone.  Actually, rumor has it that he was a real fireman who had too much to drink that night.  Who knows?  Life is indeed a crazy tapestry.

Lessons Learned

Beware of strippers bearing gifts.

Lifetime Movie Review: Suburban Swingers Club (dir by Jessica Janos)

If you’ve seen enough Lifetime films, you know that it’s never a good idea to move to the suburbs.

I mean, sure.  Inevitably, you’ll end up living in a big house.  And you’ll have all the closet space in the world.  And your neighbors will all be really sexy and witty and they’ll always invite you over to have a glass of wine and gossip about everyone’s deep, dark secrets.  I mean, it sounds like a great idea but things never work out as well as they should.

For example, just check out the latest Lifetime movie, Suburban Swingers Club.

Everything you need to know about the film is right there in the title.  It takes place in the suburbs.  There’s a club.  And they’re all swingers.  And when I say swingers, I mean they’re real swingers.  They’re not like Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally in those annoying Sling commercials.  No, these are people who get together and toss their house keys into a punch bowl.  Each night, keys are randomly drawn and neighbors go upstairs together.  Of course, only the really wealthy and attractive neighbors get to take part.  For instance, there’s this old guy who is occasionally seen standing out in his front yard.  He never gets invited.

As soon as Lori (Dana Davis) and Grant (Jesse Ruda) move into the neighborhood, they’re invited to join the club.  Grant is immediately intrigued while Lori is immediately weirded out by the whole idea.  In fact, Lori thinks that Grant might just be looking for an excuse to have an affair.  Their marriage has been rocky ever since the death of their baby.  However, then Lori catches sight of the neighbor across the road, doing manly stuff without his shirt on.  In fact, Noah (James William O’Halloran) doesn’t even seem to own a shirt!  Lori eventually tells Grant that they can swing as long as 1) they’re totally honest about it, 2) they think about each other while having sex with other people, and 3) they stop doing it as soon as one of them objects.  Grant’s like, “That’s a lot of rules but as long as I get laid, I’m happy.”

However, it doesn’t take long until Grant’s no longer happy.  Lori ends up pulling Noah’s key and soon Grant is getting jealous.  Grant says that he’s exercising his right to say “stop.”  Lori explains the situation to Noah and Noah is like, “Well, no one told me about any rules!”  Soon, Noah is stalking Lori and Grant is threatening to kill him.  Of course, when Noah turns up dead, Grant automatically becomes the number one suspect….

Unfortunately, this film doesn’t feature quite as much swinging as I was expecting.  It doesn’t take long for Grant to get jealous and exercise his “stop” option and after that, the film becomes a fairly typical Lifetime stalking film.  But no matter.  I still enjoyed Suburban Swingers Club, if just because the film didn’t waste anytime plunging into its story of suburban melodrama.  This is one of those films where your new neighbors come over, take one look at you, and then invite you to join a swinger’s club.  Lori can’t even look out of her bedroom window without seeing two people having sex across the street and, once morning comes, it’s time for Noah to start casually walking around outside without his shirt on.  Suburban Swingers Club is like the Lifetime version of one of those wonderfully campy 60s sexploitation films where bored housewives seduce the pool cleaner and the whole thing is written, directed, and acted with just enough self-awareness to let us know that the film is cheerfully aware of its excesses.  It’s a lot of fun, as any swinging club should be.  Joe Sarno would be proud.

Lifetime Film Review: Saving My Baby (dir by Michael Feifer)

Poor baby Lilly!

She’s only a few weeks old and her life is already all drama all the time!

First off, Lilly was born slightly premature, shortly after her mother, Sarah (Brianne Davis), was involved in a serious and suspicious auto accident.  Then, while her mother is still in a coma, her father, Travis (Jon Prescott), decides to take Lilly and run off to Palm Springs with her.  Accompanying Travis is his overprotective mother, Virginia (Kathleen Quinlan) and Jessica (Tonya Kay), who just happens to be the friend who introduced Sarah to Travis in the first place.  Speaking of just being friends, that’s what Travis swears that he and Jessica are but we all know that’s not the case.  We know this because this is a Lifetime film and it’s rare that anyone’s ever just a friend in the world of Lifetime.  Of course, Sarah’s parents and her sister object to Travis taking the baby to Palm Springs but what can they do?  He’s the father.

Of course, eventually, Sarah wakes up and she’s like, “Where’s my baby?”  When she hears that Lilly has been taken to Palm Springs, she quickly calls up Travis and demands to know what’s going on.  Travis assures Sarah that his mother is looking after Lilly and promises that they’ll return the following morning.  Sarah then hears Jessica talking in the background.

“IS JESSICA THERE!?”  Sarah asks.

Travis, not surprisingly, doesn’t have a quick answer for that.

As should already be obvious, there was a lot more to Sarah and Travis’s whirlwind romance than just love.  Unlike the attempted murder, the baby was never a part of the plan.  However, now that Lilly’s been born, Travis definitely wants to keep her.  Jessica, meanwhile, is concerned about how much Sarah and her family are willing to pay for the return of Baby Lilly….

Kidnapped children are pretty much a staple plot point when it comes to Lifetime movies.  That really shouldn’t be surprising.  The most effective Lifetime films are the ones that deal, however melodramatically, with real-life fears and what could be more scary than the thought of losing your baby?  Whereas other mothers in Lifetime kidnapping films at least get to spend some time with their child before the abduction happens, Sarah wakes up to discover that her baby has been taken to another city.  When she desperately asks her sister for information of how the baby looked before she was taken away, it’s a moment of intense emotional honesty.

Saving My Baby is a bit unique among Lifetime kidnapping films in that it actually spend more time with the kidnappers than with the family of the kidnapped.  Don’t get me wrong.  Sarah is a sympathetic character and Brianne Davis does a good job playing her but the film is far more interested in Jessica, Travis, and Virginia.  As played by Jon Pescott, Travis spend most of his screentime wearing the haunted expression of someone who knows that he’s made the biggest mistake of his life.  Not only does he have his wife angry at him but his mother won’t stop telling him that he’s a terrible father and his girlfriend keeps demanding that he get rid of both his mother and his daughter.  Kathleen Quinlan does a great jon, keeping you guessing about Virginia.  You’re never quite sure how much she knows about what Travis and Jessica are planning.  However, the film is totally stolen by Tonya Kay, who is like a force of destructive nature in the role of Jessica.  Jessica may be evil but you can’t help but sympathize with her frustration at times.  I mean, everyone around her is just so incompetent!

Saving My Baby is an entertaining Lifetime kidnapping film.  Wisely, the film eventually moves the action to Las Vegas, which is the perfect location for the movie’s melodrama.  For the film’s finale, Saving My Baby makes good use of the Nevada desert, with the desolation perfectly capturing the feeling of hopelessness that Sarah’s been feeling ever since the disappearance of her daughter.  It all leads to gunfire and tears and hopefully, a lesson learned about letting your no-good son-in-law take your granddaughter to Palm Springs.  We can only hope.

2018 In Review: The Best of Lifetime

Today, I continue my look back at the previous year with my picks for the best of Lifetime in 2018!  Below, you’ll find my nominations for the best Lifetime films and performances of 2018!  Winners are starred and listed in bold!

(As a guide, I used the credits for the imdb.  If anyone has been miscredited or left out, please feel free to let me know and I’ll fix the error both here and, if I can, on the imdb as well.)

(For my previous best of Lifetime picks, click on the links: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)

Best Picture

The Art of Murder, produced by Neil Elman, Bryce Fishman, James Lourie, Hannah Pillemer, Edgar Rosa, Fernando Szew

The Bad Seed, produced by Justis Greene, Harvey Kahn, Elizabeth Guber Stephen, Mark Wolper.

Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey. Produced by Mary Petryshyn, Charles Tremayne, Jeff Vanderwal

Cocaine Godmother, produced by Jamie Goehring, S. Lily Hui, Jonathan Koch, Stephen Michaels, Andrew Molina, Alisa Tager, Shawn Williamson.

Conrad & Michelle: If Words Could Kill, produced by David Manzaners and Judith Verno

*The Girl in the Bathtub, produced by Kevin Leeson, Emanuel Pereira, Diane Sokolow, Rachel Verno*

Girl in the Bunker, produced by Kim Bondi, Stephen Kemp, Thomas Vencelides

I Killed My BFF: The Preacher’s Daughter.  Produced by Len Murach and Rick Van Meter.

No One Would Tell. Produced by Shawn Angeliski, Paddy Bickerton, Martin Fisher, Lisa Richardson, Danielle Von Zerneck

Terror in the Woods. Produced by David Eubanks, Les Franck, Adam Freeman, Leslie Greif, James Heerdegen, Ashley Hudson, Christina Ricci, Eric Tomonsanus, DJ Viola

Best Director

Jim Donovan for Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey

Gail Harvey for No One Would Tell

Seth Jarrett for I Killed My BFF: The Preacher’s Daughter

Rob Lowe for The Bad Seed

*Karen Moncrieff for The Girl in the Bathtub*

Guillermo Navarro in Cocaine Godmother

Best Actor

Burgess Abernethy in Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance

Kevin Fonteyne in Lover in the Attic

Rob Lowe in The Bad Seed

Austin P. McKenzie in Conrad & Michelle: If Words Could Kill

*Eric Roberts in Stalked By My Doctor: Patient’s Revenge*

Henry Thomas in The Girl in the Bunker

Best Actress

Haylie Duff in Deadly Delusion

McKenna Grace in The Bad Seed

Caitlin Stasey in The Girl In The Bathtub

Bella Thorne in Conrad & Michelle: If Words Could Kill

Megan West in I Killed My BFF: The Preacher’s Daughter

*Catherine Zeta-Jones in Cocaine Godmother*

Best Supporting Actor

Juan Pablo Espinosa in Cocaine Godmother

David Fierro in Lover in the Attic

Joel Gretsch in I Killed My BFF: The Preacher’s Daughter

Patrick Muldoon in A Tale of Two Coreys

*Jason Patric in The Girl in the Bathtub*

Rossif Sutherland in Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey

Best Supporting Actress

Krista Allen in Party Mom

Cara Buono in The Bad Seed

Angela Kinsey in Terror in the Woods

*Lydia Look in Mistress Hunter*

Jenny Pellicer in Cocaine Godmother

Katherine Reis in I Killed My BFF: The Preacher’s Daughter

Best Screenplay

The Bad Seed.  Barbara Marshall.

Believe Me: The Abudction of Lisa McVey. Christina Welsh.

Cocaine Godmother.  Molly McAlpine, David McKenna.

The Girl in the Bathtub. Karen Moncrieff.

*No One Would Tell. Caitlin D. Fryers*

Terror in the Woods. Amber Benson.

Best Cinematography

The Bad Seed. Peter Menzies, Jr.

Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey. Sasha Moric.

Cocaine Godmother. Guillermo Navarro.

Girl in the Bunker. Fraser Brown.

*I Killed My BFF: The Preacher’s Daughter.  Brian J. Reynolds*

Terror in the Woods. David McGrory.

Best Costuming

*The Art of Murder. Steviee Hughes.*

Cocaine Godmother. Jori Woodman.

Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance. Claudia Da Ponte, Diah Wymont.

I Killed My BFF: The Peacher’s Daughter.  David Anthony Crowley.

Psycho Prom Queen.  Anie Fisette.

A Tale of Two Coreys.  Jennifer Garnet Filo.

Best Editing

The Bad Seed, Eric L. Beason.

Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey. Lisa Grootenboer.

Cocaine Godmother. Luis Carballar.

*Conrad & Michelle: If Words Could Kill.  Henk van Eeghen*

The Girl in the Bathtub.

Girl in the Bunker.  Stephen Kemp.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Cocaine Godmother.  Laura Copó, Victoria Ferguson, Brittany Isaacs, Andrea Manchur, Joanna Mireau, Adam James Phillips, Trefor Proud, Juanita Santamaria, Ronnie Sidhu, Vicki Syskakis

Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance.  Lorna Bravo, Helena Cepeda, Jenni Brown Greenberg, Shelly Jensen, Melissa Rankl, Cydney Sjostrom

I Killed My BFF: The Preacher’s Daughter. Missy Scarbrough and Christina Kim.

*Lover in the Attic. Crystal Broedel, Brittanie Cruz, Robin Styles, Diana Valerie, Nataleigh Verrengia*

A Tale of Two Coreys. Katherine Chandler, Lynnae Duley, Monique Hyman, Katie Kilkenny, Kaity Licina, Megan Nicoll, Rebecca Violet Schroeder, Adina Sullivan

Zombie at 17.  Jessica Awad, Cinthia Burke, Christine Capustinsky, Shannon Doyle.

Best Score

Cocaine Godmother. Eduardo Aram.

The Girl in the Bathtub.  Adam Gorgoni.

Lover in the Attic. Ozzy Doniz.

No One Would Tell. Mark Lazeski.

A Tale of Two Coreys. Jim Dooley.

*Terror in the Woods. Ozzy Doniz.*

Best Production Design

*The Art of Murder. Yana Veselova.*

Cocaine Godmother.  Eric Fraser.

The Girl in the Bathtub. Laura Lola Maier.

Girl in the Bunker. Andrew Berry.

Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance. Mayne Berke, Ashley Swanson, Vincent Wright

Lover in the Attic. Lindsay Glick.

Best Sound

Cocaine Godmother

*Deadly Delusion*

House of Darkness: New Blood

Killer Under The Bed

Lover in the Attic.

Terror in the Woods

Best Visual Effects

The Bad Seed.

Cocaine Godmother

Deadly Delusion

House of Darkness: New Blood

*Killer Under The Bed*

Zombie at 17

And those are my picks for the best of Lifetime in 2018!  (Lifetime had a pretty good year.)  Now, I’m off to make my selections for the best of SyFy 2018!  I’ll be back …. well, maybe not soon.  It took me about three hours to do my Lifetime post.  So, I’ll be back eventually.

Lisa Marie’s 2018 In Review:

  1. The 10 Worst Films of 2018


Cleaning Out The DVR: Seduced By My Neighbor (dir by Sam Irvin)

(I recorded Seduced By Neighbor off of Lifetime on November 11th, 2018.)

Awwww, what a happy couple!

That picture above is of Mike (Trevor St. John) and Sarah (Andrea Bogart) relaxing in Sarah’s hot tub.  Sarah’s a single mother who recently lost her husband in a traffic auto accident.  Mike is the self-appointed head of the neighborhood watch and he also recently lost his spouse in a tragic accident.  As soon as Sarah and her daughter, Allie (Sierra McCormick), moved into their new house, Mike introduced himself and made it a point to always drive by the house in his little golf cart and make sure that everything was safe.  How couldn’t Sarah fall in love with such a great, considerate guy?

Or, at least, that’s the way that Mike likes to imagine it.  See, that picture above is just Mike’s fantasy.  That’s the future that he imagines awaits him and Sarah.  What Mike doesn’t take into account is that, while Sarah appreciates his dedication to keeping the neighborhood safe, she’s not interested in being seduced by her neighbor.  Instead, she’s far more interested in Chris (Rocky Myers), the superhot fireman who comes by the house after one of Allie’s friends sets the kitchen on fire.

Realizing that he’s running the risk of losing his fantasy, Mike decides to take action.  He challenges Chris to a game of ping pong, one that quickly spirals out of control.  Mike may win the game but he’s such an obnoxious player that it certainly doesn’t make him look any more attractive in the eyes of …. well, just about anyone.

Well, if ping pong didn’t work, how about murder?

Yes, it turns out that Mike is a psycho.  That really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has ever watched a Lifetime film.  In the wold of Lifetime, your neighbor is always likely to turn out to be an obsessive psychopath.  The more friendly he is, the more likely it is that he’s filled your house with hidden cameras and that he’s spending all of his time watching you on his laptop.  We all know how these things work.

So, Seduced By My Neighbor may sound like a typical Lifetime film but, in general, I like Lifetime films so that wasn’t a problem for me.  Plus, Trevor St. John does a good job playing the psycho, making him friendly and creepy at the same time.  From the minute that Mike shows up, it’s obvious that there’s something a little bit off about him but, at the same time, you can understand how someone still struggling to recover from losing her husband could be taken in by someone who says that he just wants to make sure that everyone in the neighborhood is safe and happy.

And, finally, there’s that ping pong game.  Yes, I’m coming back to the ping pong game because it was definitely the highlight of the film.  Strutting around and yelling every time he scores a point, Mike becomes every dudebro that you’ve ever seen playing pool in a frat house.  Wisely, Chris just kind of smiles and lets Mike have his moment.  That scene was just so over the top and fun that it pretty much epitomized everything that you could want from a Lifetime film.

I won’t spoil it but Seduced By My Neighbor had a good ending, one that revolved around an earlier plot point that, until the final few minutes of the film, I thought the movie had merely abandoned.  It was a properly chilling moment, one that definitely felt appropriate for our paranoid age.