Lifetime Film Review: A Date With Danger (dir by Cat Hostick)

After a messy divorce, Nikki (Lara Jean Chorostecki) is ready for a new beginning! She does what every recently divorced woman in a Lifetime film does ….. she moves to a small town, gets a job in a trendy boutique, and starts dating a handsome man.

At first, it seems like everything’s perfect. The boutique’s owner, Liz (Ispita Paul), is not only Nikki’s boss but soon becomes her best friend and mentor as well. Nikki’s teenager daughter, Brooke (Jaida Grace), befriends Liz’s daughter, Anna (Kayla Hutton). While it is true that Liz’s relationship with her ex-husband, Dan (Matt Wells), is a volatile one, that just gives Liz and Nikki something to bond over. Finally, there’s Gavin (Jamie Spilchuk). Nikki thinks that Gavin is just the perfect man, even though Liz has her doubtts.

Then, one day, Liz vanishes. The police suspect that Dan could be involved but, when they discover that Liz has rewritten her will to leave the boutique to Nikki, they start to suspect that Nikki could somehow be involved as well. Dan seems like the obvious culprit but as Nikki starts to investigate the disappearance on her own, she discovers that everything is not how it seems….

A Date With Danger is a pretty typical Lifetime film. If you’ve ever seen a Lifetime film before, you know who kidnapped Liz and you can probably guess why. Ordinarily, the fact that Lifetime films are kind of predictable is actually one of their strengths. These are movies that you watch so you can yell back at the TV and wonder in amazement whether or not any of the characters have actually watched a movie before. That said, it was hard not to feel that A Date With Danger would have benefitted from a few more characters. When there’s only three suspects and one of them is eliminated by virtue of being the film’s main character, it’s fairly easy to guess who is going to turn out to be the guilty party. A Date With Danger even acknowledges this fact by revealing the identity of Liz’s kidnapper rather early on.

The title’s a bit misleading, as Nikki does go on a date but it’s hardly the center of the film and one never really gets the feeling that she’s in any danger during the date. That said, the title is a good example of Lifetime showmanship. Danger is a word that will always catch your attention. As well, it brings to mind the classic Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? Date With Danger, unfortunately, never reaches the heights of that classic exercise in over the top melodrama and that’s a shame. Indeed, Date With Danger is surprisingly subdued for a Lifetime film. It’s possible, of course, that I’ve been spoiled by all of the recent “Wrong” films as I spent most of Date With Danger wondering when Vivica A. Fox was going to show up and say, “Looks like you went on the wrong date with danger.”

A Date With Danger is a bit too low-key for its own good, never quite embracing the melodrama with the enthusiasm that people like me have come to expect from a Lifetime film. That said, the small town setting looked really nice and Jamie Spilchuk was well-cast as the enigmatic Gavin. Even if it wasn’t particularly memorable by Lifetime standards, A Date With Danger did its job efficiently.

Lifetime Film Review: Desperate Widows (dir by Lane Shefter Bishop)

Some people are cult people and some people aren’t.

Me, I’ve never been a cult person. Some of that’s because, as a result of my ADD, I get bored way too easily to spend hours listening to some deranged cult leader give a speech. Some of that is because I’m naturally suspicious of people who try too hard to convince me that they’re always happy and excited and enthusiastic, which is something that I’ve noticed people in cults seem to do. I’m a big believer in doing what you want. I’m also a big believer in the idea that I already know all the answers to life’s big questions so I’m really not vulnerable to people who claim otherwise. That’s one of the many advantages of believing in yourself.

Another reason why I could never join a cult is because I hate the idea of living on a commune. The whole idea of being forced to create a community with a bunch of strangers just creeps me out. Add to that, I’m not a fan of living in impersonal dorms and I don’t really like doing farmwork and I’m not into sing-alongs around the campfire. I certainly don’t like camping and or living in buildings that don’t have any running water. Commune living is just not for me and fortunately, that will always make me immune to being brainwashed into joining a cult.

In the Lifetime film Desperate Widows, Dianne (Allison McAtee) insists that she doesn’t run a commune. Sure, it may look like a commune and it may have a lot of commune-style rules and everyone acts like they’re living on a commune but Dianne insists that she actually runs a …. wait for it …. a mommune! It’s a retreat for moms and their daughters, one that is especially popular with moms who have just lost a husband. It can do wonderful things for people, just as long as everyone’s willing to follow the rules. For one thing, the moms and daughters are separated and sent to live in separate dorms. For another thing, everyone has to do manual labor for most of the day and anyone who fails to take it seriously will run the risk of being put in isolation.


As soon as recently widowed Paige (Justine Eyre) and her teenage daughter, Allie (Olivia Stuck) arrive at the comm …. sorry, excuse me …. mommune, they suspect that there’s something not quite right about the place. Allie figures it out pretty quickly. It takes Paige a day or two longer, despite the fact that Paige is a best-selling writer of thrillers and you would figure that she would know better than to trust a bunch of secretive people living out in the middle of nowhere. Soon, both Paige and Allie want to leave but it turns out that leaving is not going to be easy. This mommune is full of all sorts of sordid secrets that dangerous people do not want revealed to the rest of the world.

This Lifetime film required a healthy suspension of disbelief. The same can be said about most Lifetime films but this one required even more than usual. That said, if you can accept that Paige would ever have been stupid enough to go to the mommune in the first place, Desperate Widows is entertaining. I liked Allison McAtee’s performance as the sinister Dianne and Justine Eyre and Olivia Stuck were believable as mother and daughter. What I really appreciated is that it didn’t take long for Paige to be like, “This place is messed up,” and to realize that she needed to find her daughter and escape.

Most importantly, Desperate Widows served as a warning against commune living. That’s a message that everyone can get behind.

Lifetime Film Review: Dangerous Medicine (dir by Jeff Hare)

There’s a scene in Dangerous Medicine in which Daphne (Leeann Van Mol), the physical therapist who has abandonment issues, is seen looking up something online. The camera swings around so that we can see exactly what she’s looked up.

“HOW TO AMPUTATE AN ARM” the website reads. Underneath the big bold headline, there are drawings of an arm, highlighting the exact places where one should start chopping.

Having looked at the website and (we hope) studied it carefully, she then proceeds to get a hacksaw before heading into the bedroom, where her latest patient is tied to the bed.

That’s the moment that I shouted, “Oh my God, this is one of the greatest Lifetime films ever!”

And seriously, it is. This is why people like me watch Lifetime films. We watch them for scenes like this. We watch them for wonderfully self-aware moments like this, where an unstable but determined character quickly reads up on how to do something insanely complicated and then proceeds to try to do it in what will undoubtedly be the messiest way possible. Leave it to other networks to worry about the exact logic of amputation and hacksaws and removing limbs without anesthetic. Lifetime knows that we’re not watching for reality. We’re watching for gloriously over the top mayhem like this.

Dangerous Medicine delivers everything you could want from a Lifetime film. Tony (Chris Cimperman) is a high school track star who loses the use of his legs in a car crash. His mother, Ellen (Meredith Thomas), and his girlfriend, Jasmine (Choe Stafford), are determined to support him as he struggles to learn how to walk again. At first, Daphne seems like the perfect therapist but it turns out that she does have some issues. For instance, the first time that we see Daphne, a man is trying to kill her and, for a good deal of the film, that man keeps popping up and staring at Daphne as she goes about her day. There’s also the fact that Daphne sometimes seems to be determined to keep Tony away from both his mother and his girlfriend. Soon, both Ellen and Jasmine are suspicious of Daphne but Tony swears that she’s the best therapist ever. Are Ellen and Jasmine just being paranoid or has Daphne managed to brainwash her patient?

Well, you probably already know that answer to that. Actually, if you read the first four paragraphs of this review, you you already know the answer. The whole thing about looking up how to amputate an arm probably gave it away. But that’s okay. Part of the appeal of Lifetime films is that you know that the sexy stranger is always going to turn out to be dangerous, just as you know that the mother is always going to be right and usually, the loyal and bookish girlfriend is going to know what she’s talking about as well. From the start, you know that Daphne’s going to end up snapping. The entertainment comes from trying to predict what will be the exact moment that will push her over the edge and how many people she’ll end up killing as a result.

Dangerous Medicine, like all good Lifetime films, is a tremendous amount of fun. Leeann Van Mol especially deserves credit for going over the edge with style and keeping a straight face even when she’s carrying around a hacksaw. Dangerous Medicine is everything that we love about Lifetime.

Lifetime Film Review: Just What The Doctor Ordered (dir by Jeff Hare)

Dr. Albert Beck is back!

Albert Beck is the character at the center of one of Lifetime’s most successful franchises, the Stalked By My Doctor films. First introduced six years ago in the original Stalked By My Doctor, Albert Beck is a brilliant surgeon who also has a bad habit of growing obsessed with his patients, especially if they’re teenage girls. Dr. Beck tends to fantasize that his patients are in love with him and then he goes out of his way to “protect” them. This usually means kidnapping them and attempting to murder everyone else in their life. Since his first appearance, Dr. Beck has gone from being a world-renowned surgeon to being a fugitive from justice to being a patient in a mental hospital. Just as surely as you can depend on Dr. Beck to fall in love with any teenage girl with a heart murmur, you can also depend on him to always manage to escape confinement. Along the way, Dr. Beck has also developed an alter ego — Laid Back Beck. Laid Back Beck wears Hawaiian shirts, sips tropical drinks, and is always taunting Dr. Beck about his lack of success when it comes to finding love. Of course, only Dr. Beck can see and hear Laid Back Beck.

Laid Back Beck

Of course, what truly sets Dr. Beck apart from other Lifetime obsessive stalker-types is that he’s played by Eric Roberts. In fact, Eric Roberts has become, late in his career, quite a popular figure with Lifetime movie fans, largely due to his performances as Dr. Beck and his appearances in a number of other Lifetime films. (Most of those non-Dr. Beck appearances have only been cameos but still, any film with Eric Roberts is going to be better than a film without Eric Roberts.) From the very first film, Roberts has been wonderfully over-the-top as Dr. Beck, playing him with just the right combination of mad sincerity, overwhelming self-pity, and self-awareness. Everything about Roberts’s performance, from his nervous smile to the rushed way he starts to speak whenever he meets someone who he feels need to be protected, comes together to make Dr. Beck into one of the most memorable and dangerous villains to ever appear in a Lifetime film. And yet, because he is so painfully needy and so convinced that he’s doing the right thing, it’s hard not to occasionally feel a little bit of sympathy for Dr. Beck. He may be a murderer but, in his mind, he’s only trying to fix a broken heart. Several broken hearts, as a matter of fact!

Just What The Doctor Ordered, the fifth film to feature the good doctor, finds Beck escaping from yet another mental institution. This time, he hides out in what he thinks is an abandoned house. However, it turns out that the house has recently been bought by Maggie Newell (Carrie Schroeder) and soon, Dr. Beck has fallen in love with Maggie’s teenage daughter, Alexa (Grace Patterson). And wouldn’t you know it — Alexa needs a heart transplant! Soon, Dr. Beck is disguising himself as a nurse and taking a very active interest in tracking down the perfect heart donor for Alexa.

And, you know what? It’s fun. Yes, you’ll be able to guess what’s going to happen but, as I’ve said before, that’s actually one of the fun things about watching a Lifetime film. As with the previous Stalked By My Doctor films, the main attraction here is Eric Roberts, chewing up the scenery and having violent fantasies about killing Alexa’s boyfriend while Alexa sweetly smiles and thanks him for protecting her. His search for a proper heart donor takes him to some unexpected places, particularly when he meets a police detective who appears to use her handcuffs for more than just arresting perps. Dr. Beck has been through a lot and he spends a good deal of Just What The Doctor Ordered looking a bit worse for wear. (Setting fire to a mental institution and then hiding in an attic for several weeks will do that to you.) But still, Eric Roberts’s unique charisma shines through. By the end of the film, you’ll eagerly be waiting to see what future adventures Albert Beck and his laid back alter ego have ahead of them!

Lifetime Film Review: The Wrong Prince Charming (dir by David DeCoteau)

“It looks like you found the wrong prince charming!” Vivica A. Fox says towards the end of The Wrong Prince Charming.

I’ll admit that I cheered a little when Vivica said the line. If you know anything about Lifetime’s “Wrong” franchise, you know that Vivica A. Fox always plays a sympathetic authority figure who, at some point, says something along the lines of “Looks like he was the Wrong Poolboy” or “He messed with The Wrong Administrative Assistant.” One of the main reasons why people like me look forward to seeing the latest “Wrong” films is to see just how exactly the title is going to be worked into Vivica’s dialogue.

Make no doubt about it, there’s been a lot of “Wrong” films. We’ve had wrong blind dates, wrong tutors, wrong cheerleader coaches, wrong teachers, wrong real estate agents, wrong motel owners, wrong boyfriends, wrong girlfriends, and wrong houseguests. It only makes sense that we would eventually have a wrong Prince Charming.

The title character would be Prince Edward (James Nitti), who claims to be royalty but who, we learn fairly early on, is actually just a con artist who works with his assistant Liam (Jonathan Stoddard) to defraud people and corporations out of their money. Edward may be a charmer but he’s also a charlatan who is not above murdering anyone who he feels might be getting too close to the truth. That’s what greed does to people. That’s bad news for Anna (Cristine Prosperi), who is Edward’s latest target. Anna is an attorney. Among her clients is Bridget (Vivica A. Fox). After watching enough of the “Wrong” films, you really do find yourself wondering if maybe Vivica A. Fox is supposed to be playing the same character in every one of them. Maybe she just changes her name frequently as she travels across Canada and gets involved in thwarting the schemes of the wrong people. It would certainly explain a lot about the Wrong Cinematic Universe.

The thing with Lifetime’s “Wrong” films is that you either get them or you don’t. On the one hand, they’re pure melodrama. On the other hand, they’re also self-aware enough to poke fun at themselves. They’re not meant to be taken seriously, Instead, they’re diverting treats that are designed to keep the audience amused while they wait to hear Vivica pronounce someone to be “the wrong whatever.” They’re designed to be fun and usually, they are. The Wrong Prince Charming, for instance, has fun with the fact that everyone in the audience knows that anyone who claims to be a member of a royal family is probably lying to you. I’ve seen enough emails from enough financially burdened royals to know better than to trust anyone who claims to be a prince. When it comes to The Wrong Prince Charming, a good deal of the fun is to be found in catching all of Edward’s mistakes, all of the little moments when he accidentally lets his cover slip and reveals that he’s just some random commoner with a nice smile.

This is Cristine Prosperi’s 3rd wrong film She was also in The Wrong Cheerleader (“He messed with the wrong cheerleader!”) and The Wrong Neighbor. She’s also appeared in a handful of other recent Lifetime films, including Killer Competition and Murdered At 17. Before that, she played Imogen, the quirky stalker, on the final few seasons of Degrassi. Prosperi always does a good job in these films and the same is true here. She’s a sympathetic lead, even though it’s obvious from the start that she’s picked the wrong prince charming.

The Wrong Prince Charming is silly and fun, the type of movie that’s pretty much made to be watched with a snarky friend. I’m definitely looking forward to the next wrong film!

Lifetime Film Review: The Evil Twin (dir by Max McGuire)

If there’s anything I’ve learned from watching Lifetime films, it’s that anyone can afford a gigantic, three-story house with a basement, an attic, an Olympic-size swimming pool, and a guesthouse. Seriously, I don’t know why everyone always says it’s so difficult to get that first house because there are unemployed people in Lifetime films who live in mansions.

The other thing that I’ve learned from watching Lifetime films is that you’re screwed if you’ve got a twin. Seriously, your twin is always going to be evil. Your twin is always going to pretend to be you so that she can sleep with your boyfriend and murder your coworkers. Your twin is going to use her own DNA to frame you and then, once you’re imprisoned, she’s going to sell your identity to the Russian mob and then you’ll never get it back. Twins are bad news, or at least that’s the way it goes in the Lifetime Cinematic Universe. I’ve lost track of how many psycho twin films I’ve seen on Lifetime.

The most recent psycho twin film is named, appropriately enough, Evil Twin. Emily Piggford plays Emily, who flees from an abusive relationship and returns to her small hometown. She’s staying with her friend Lenah (Cory Lee, who also played Miss Oh on Degrassi) and she’s trying to get her life back together. Unfortunately, this prove difficult because random people keep walking up to Emily and yelling at her before telling her to stay out of their lives. Emily doesn’t know any of these people and is left to wonder why so many strangers suddenly hate her.

Emily also discovers that she has a twin sister named Charlotte! Charlotte, who lives in a beautiful house and who has longer hair than Emily, at first seems to be thrilled to have found her twin. She even asks Emily to turn her head so that Charlotte can see what the back of their earlobes look like. (That may sound like a strange request but I’d probably ask the same thing if I ever met my twin. Ears are fascinating things.) However, it soon turns out that …. well, you can probably guess. I mean, the movie is called Evil Twin, after all. Soon, Charlotte is pretending to be Emily and she’s attacking people left and right. You know how these things go.

Evil Twin is a bit more moody than the average Lifetime film. The fact that Emily is escaping from abuse and still dealing with the emotional trauma of her previous relationship gives the film a few more layers than the average Lifetime film and Emily Piggford does a good job playing both Emily and her twin sister. The film actually does manage to keep you guessing as to which twin is onscreen at any particular moment and, with Charlotte being considerably more clever and ruthless than the average Lifetime villain, the film manages to generate some suspense as Charlotte kills and maims her way through the people in Emily’s life. Evil Twin may not be the first Lifetime psycho twin movie and it definitely won’t be the last but it is one of the better ones.

Lifetime Film Review: Girl In The Basement (dir by Elisabeth Rohm)

When Sara (Stefanie Scott) disappears shortly before her 18th birthday, her mother (Joely Fisher) and her older sister (Emily Topper) are naturally concerned. Significantly less concerned is her creepy father, Don (Judd Nelson). Don says that Sara has always been irresponsible and has always placed her own wants and desires above what’s best for her family. Don goes on to say that Sara had long been threatening to go on a road trip and that her plan was to see all 50 states before returning home.

The years pass and Sara never returns home. Don says that it’s obvious that Sara has decided never to return and that it’s best not to even worry about her. When Sara’s mother suggests maybe hiring a private detective, Don angrily says that he doesn’t want to hear another word about it. Sara has made her decision and he doesn’t want to talk about it anymore.

And the years continue to pass.

Of course, Don knows exactly where Sara is. He knows that, years ago, he tricked her into the going into the basement and that he then locked her in a secret room. Everyday, he takes her some food. He rewards her if he feels that she’s being good. He punishes her if he feels that she’s still being rebellious. As the years pass, Sara has several children, all fathered by Don. They live in the basement with Sara.

It’s a disturbing story, made all the more disturbing by the fact that it’s based on actual events. For 24 years, Elizabeth Fritzl was trapped, by her father, in a basement. Girl In The Basement is Lifetime’s take on the story. It was directed by Elisabeth Rohm, who has starred in several Lifetime films herself. Girl In The Basement is relentlessly grim, as it should be. It’s not particularly a fun film to watch but it’s impossible not to be inspired by the fact that the Sara, the film’s stand-in for Elizabeth Fritzl, managed to survive, no matter how terrible the situation became. She never gave up. Rohm does a good job of capturing the oppressive claustrophobia of Sara’s existence and Joely Fisher, Emily Tapper, and Stefanie Scott all did good job of showing how the victims of abuse often make excuses for their abusers. Even before he locks Sara in the basement, everyone in the family knows that Don is a monster but they’ve all come to accept it. They’ve all come to feel as if “That’s just Don.” Like most abusers, Don knows how to manipulate and how to gaslight his victims into accepting almost anything.

Judd Nelson does a good job in the role of Don. Unfortunately, we’re so used to seeing Judd Nelson play creeps that it was impossible to be surprised when he turned out to be one in this movie. The casting was a bit too on-the-nose and, whenever Nelson was onscreen, I found myself thinking about all over the other films that I’ve seen that featured Judd Nelson as a villain. That said, Nelson brought enough authenticity to Don’s sudden mood swings that he was convincingly menacing. It’s not just that Don locks his daughter in the basement and abuses her for 24 years while insisting that the family should just forget that she ever existed. It’s that he’s so damn proud of himself after he does it.

Girl in the Basement is well-done Lifetime true crime film, albeit not a particularly pleasant one to watch.

Lifetime Film Review: Killer Advice (dir by Jared Cohn)

Beth (Kate Watson) is not having an easy time dealing with her seemingly perfect life.

She’s worried about whether or not her teenage daughter, Jess (Gigi Gustin), is going to be able to get into a good college. She’s worried about whether or not her husband, Nick (Steve Richard Harris), is going to be able to hold onto his job. She’s also overworked at her own job. That’s a lot of stress to deal with. Of course, what’s really causing Beth the most trouble is the fact that she was recently the victim of a terrifying attack. In an underground parking garage, a man in a mask tried to attack her and chased her all the way to her car. Beth is having trouble recovering from the trauma. Eventually, she ends up seeing a highly praised therapist named Marsha (Meredith Thomas).

At first, Marsha seems like the perfect therapist. She listens to what Beth has to say. She gives good advice. She seems to genuinely care about Beth’s well-being. Then, one night, Nick announces that his firm has a rich new client and that this new client specifically asked to work with him. He goes on to explain that the client is coming to dinner and that it’s very important that everything go perfectly because, otherwise, the client might go to another firm. Beth works all day, preparing the perfect meal. When the client shows up, it turns out to be …. MARSHA!

Marsha claims to be shocked to discover that Nick and Beth are married. Why, Marsha just had no idea! What a coincidence! Later, Marsha hears Beth’s best friend, Simone (Gina Hiraizumi), saying that Marsha should be reported for violating her professional ethics by hiring a patient’s husband. Marsha, needless to say, isn’t happy to hear that and promptly looks for a rock that she can use to bash in Simone’s head….

That’s right! This is one of those type of films! Airing on Lifetime, Killer Advice is another film in which a woman with a perfect family finds herself being stalked by someone who is obsessed with her. This a frequent Lifetime genre and it’s one that centers around a fear that we all have, that fear that our new best friend might actually be a knife-wielding psycho. If you’re not paranoid after watching a Lifetime film, then you’re just not paying attention.

With it’s plot of a dangerous therapist, it’s tempting to compare this film to the Stalked By My Doctor films. Making that comparison even more tempting is the fact that Eric Roberts (the doctor of the Stalked By My Doctor franchise) has a small but key role as Nick’s boss. (It’s always fun to see Eric Roberts and, personally, I like the fact that he’s reinvented himself as a Lifetime mainstay.) However, the Stalked By My Doctor films tend be almost parodies of the classic Lifetime formula. Much like A Deadly Adoption, the Stalked By My Doctor franchise comments on the Lifetime style while also celebrating it. Killer Advice is a bit less meta, content to be a straight-forward story about an unlikely but dangerous stalker.

Kate Watson, Meredith Thomas, and Gigi Gustin all give good performances. Thomas stalks with style, which is really the most important thing when it comes to a film like this. The 2nd most important thing, of course, is the house where it all takes place and Killer Advice features a beautiful one. Living in a house that nice might make being stalked by a therapist almost worth it!

Spring Breakdown: Deadly Excursion: Kidnapped From The Beach (dir by Brian Skiba)

When last we checked in with the McCarthy family, Samantha (Samaire Armstrong) and her daughter Ellie (Alexandria DeBerry) were kidnapped while on vacation and ended up getting stranded on a remote beach.  Fortunately, they were saved by the combined efforts of the FBI and Samantha’s husband, David (Corin Nemec).  One of the kidnappers, Ian (Jonathan Bouvier), managed to escaped and a few people got shot but, fortunately, it appeared that everyone was safe.

That all occurred in the 2019 Lifetime film, Deadly Excursion.

Deadly Excursion: Kidnapped From The Beach checks in with the McCarthy family a year or two later and we discover that 1) David and Samantha’s marriage is now a lot stronger and 2) the family apparently didn’t learn much from their last time they got kidnapped while on vacation.  This time, ignoring the warnings of the FBI, Samantha and David go to Florida to support Ellie as she leads her beach volleyball team to a national championship.  Unfortunately, Samantha and David are also followed by Cesar Rodriguez (Matt Cedeno) and Cesar’s son, Miguel (David Meza).  Cesar and Miguel have plans to kidnap the entire family.  Meanwhile, Ian is still wandering about and looking for a chance to redeem himself, despite the fact that he’s currently #15 on the FBI’s Most Wanted List.

Got all that?

The question is, “How many times can the same thing happen to the same family?” and the answer here seems to be “At least twice.”  Indeed, it may require a certain suspension of disbelief to buy that the McCarthys could actually learn so little from their last vacation but, then again, suspension of disbelief is what Lifetime movies are all about.  As I’ve said many times, you don’t necessarily watch a film like this because you’re looking for a realistic film about kidnapping.  You watch a film like this for the beach scenery and the melodrama and for the familiar faces of the likable actors who play the film’s lead roles.  Say what you will about David McCarthy and his decision-making abilities, it’s always fun to watch Corin Nemec play a role like this.  Nemec always throws himself into it, delivering his lines with just the right mix of drama and humorous self-awareness.  And, again, he’s a likable actor.  You like David because it’s impossible not to like Corin.  You hope that he’ll get back together with his family because the three of them just seem like they belong together.

Of course, there are a few differences between the first Deadly Excursion and the second.  The first Deadly Excursion found the family being held hostage on an island.  This time, they’re held hostage in a luxury hotel and I have to say that the hotel is really quite impressive.  If I was going to be held hostage, I’d want to be held hostage there.  It also leads to an interesting scene where one of the family members manages to briefly escape, just to discover that even the people who aren’t involved in her kidnapping don’t necessarily want to get involved.  Sadly, that’s probably very true to life.  You can be just as isolated in a city as you can be on a deserted island.

Deadly Excursion: Kidnapped From The Beach won’t take you by surprise but the beach scenery is gorgeous and the cast is likable and sometimes, that’s all you need.

Previous Spring Breakdown 2021 Entries:

  1. The Beach Girls and the Monster
  2. Top Secret!
  3. Jaws: The Revenge
  4. Hunk
  5. Love In A Goldfish Bowl
  6. Eureka


2020 In Review: The Best of Lifetime

As chaotic as 2020 may have been, one thing remained unchanged!  Lifetime provided me with a lot of entertainment!  Below, you’ll find my picks for the best Lifetime films and performances of the past year!

(For my previous best of Lifetime picks, click on the links: 2014201520162017, 2018, and 2019!)

Best Picture:

  1. Mile High Escorts
  2. Escaping My Stalker
  3. Sleeping With Danger
  4. Beware of Mom
  5. Abducted On Air
  6. Killer Competition
  7. Remember Me, Mommy?
  8. A Predator’s Obsession: Stalker’s Prey 2
  9. Cheer Squad Secrets
  10. Deadly Mile High Club

Best Director:

  1. Jeff Hare for Beware of Mom
  2. Sam Irvin for Mile High Escorts
  3. David Weaver for Sleeping With Danger
  4. Linden Ashby for Escaping My Stalker
  5. Colin Theys for A Predator’s Obsession: Stalker’s Prey 2
  6. Doug Campbell for Deadly Mile High Club

Best Actress:

  1. Wendie Malick in Deranged Granny
  2. Elisabeth Rohm in Sleeping With Danger
  3. Sydney Myer in Remember Me, Mommy?
  4. Ezmie Garcia in Escaping My Stalker
  5. Anita Brown in Cheer Squad Secrets
  6. Crystal Allen in Beware of Mom

Best Actor:

  1. Houston Stevenson in A Predator’s Obsession: Stalker’s Prey 2
  2. Antonio Cupo in Sleeping With Danger
  3. Panos Vlahos in Psycho Yoga Instructor
  4. Nick Ballard in Psycho Escort
  5. Andrew James Allen in Escaping My Stalker
  6. T.C. Matherne in A Murder to Remember

Best Supporting Actor

  1. Damon K. Sperber in Deadly Mile High Club
  2. Jim Klock in Secrets in the Woods
  3. Gord Rand in Abducted on Air
  4. Brandon Howell in Beware of Mom
  5. Mark Jude Sullivan in Sinfidelity
  6. Jeff Schine in A Mother Knows Worst

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Cristine Prosperi in Killer Competition
  2. Perrey Reeves in Abducted on Air
  3. Mariette Hartley in Escaping My Stalker
  4. Christina Moore in Mile High Escorts
  5. Christie Burson in Ruthless Realtor
  6. Cristina Rosato in No Good Dead Goes Unpunished

Best Screenplay:

  1. Stephen Romano for Escaping My Stalker
  2. Richard Blaney and Gregory Small for Sleeping with Danger
  3. S.L. Heath for Beware of Mom
  4. Barbara Kymlicka for Abducted on Air
  5. Daniel West for Killer Competition
  6. Adam Rockoff and Zachary Valenti for Remember Me Mommy

Best Score:

  1. Andrew Morgan Smith for Sinfidelity 
  2. David Findlay for Revenge For Daddy 
  3. Christopher Cano for The Pom Pom Murders
  4. Fantom for Mile High Escorts

Best Editing:

  1. Maxime Chalifoux for Abducted on Air
  2. Seth Johnson for The Pom Pom Murders
  3. Bryan Capri for A Predator’s Obsession: Stalker’s Prey 2
  4. Kelly Herron for Sleeping With Danger

Best Cinematography:

  1. Branden James Maxham for A Predator’s Obsession: Stalker’s Prey 2
  2. Nate Spicer for Mile High Escorts
  3. Thomas M. Harting for Sleeping With Danger
  4. David Dolnik for Deadly Mile High Club

Coming up next (tomorrow at the latest — maybe sooner, depending on how much time I can devote to watching 6 movie today): My picks for the best films of 2020!  Finally!

TSL Looks Back at 2020:

  1. 12 Good Things I Saw On Television in 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  2. Lisa Marie’s Top 8 Novels of 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  3. Lisa Marie’s Top 8 Non-Fiction Books of 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  4. Lisa Marie’s 20 Favorite Songs of 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  5. Lisa Marie’s 16 Worst Films of 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  6. My Top 20 Albums of 2020 (Necromoonyeti)
  7. 25 Best, Worst, and Gems That I Saw In 2020 (Valerie Troutman)
  8. Top 10 Vintage Collections (Ryan C)
  9. Top 10 Contemporary Collections (Ryan C)
  10. Top 10 Original Graphic Novels (Ryan C)
  11. Top 10 Ongoing Series (Ryan C.)
  12. Top 10 Special Mentions (Ryan C.)
  13. Top Ten Single Issues (Ryan C)