2016 in Review: The Best of Lifetime


Today, I continue my look back at the year 2016 with the best of Lifetime!  Below, you’ll find my nominations for the best Lifetime films and performances of 2016!  Winners are starred and listed in bold!

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Best Picture
Bad Sister, produced by Robert Ballo, Timothy O. Johnson, Rukmani Jones, Ken Sanders
The Cheerleader Murders, produced by Sharon Bordas, Arthur Edmonds III, Hannah Pillemer, Fernando Szew, Jennifer Westin
Girl in the Box, produced by Stephen Kemp, Charles Tremayne, Thomas Vencelides
Inspired to Kill, produced by Johnson Chan, Michael Fiefer, Douglas Howell, Stephanie Rennie, Vincet Reppert, Nathan Schwab, Tammana Shah, Shawn Tira
Manson’s Lost Girls, produced by Nancy Bennett, Kyle A. Clark, Lawrence Ducceschi, Joan Harrison, Jonathan Koch, Stephen Kronish, Steven Michaels, Lina Wong
Mommy’s Little Girl, produced by Tom Berry, Steve Boisvert, Neil Bregman, Cinthia Burke, Christine Conradt, Curtis Crawford, Pierre David, Donald M. Osborne, Andrew E. Pecs
*A Mother’s Escape, produced by Sharon Bordas, Lori Bell Leahy, Michael Leahy, Kristofer McNeeley, Fernando Szew
My Sweet Audrina, produced by Dan Angel, David Calvert-Jones, Harvey Kahn, Kane Lee, Tom Mazza, Mike Rohl, Jane Startz
The Night Stalker, produced by Matthew R. Brady, Patrick G. Ingram, Michel Rangel, Alisa Tager
The Wrong Car, produced by Mark Donadio, Miriam Marcus, Molly Martin, Michael O’Neil

Best Director
Doug Campbell for Bad Sister
Megan Griffiths for The Night Stalker
*Blair Hayes for A Mother’s Escape
David Jackson for The Cheerleader Murders
Leslie Libman for Manson’s Lost Girls
Mike Rohl for My Sweet Audrina

Best Actress
*Tara Buck in A Mother’s Escape
India Eisley in My Sweet Audrina
MacKenzie Mauzy in Manson’s Lost Girls
Alyshia Ochse in Bad Sister
Karissa Lee Staples in Inspired To Kill
Addison Timlin in Girl in the Box

Best Actor
Zane Holtz in Girl in the Box
Lou Diamond Phillips in The Night Stalker
*Eric Roberts in Stalked By My Doctor: The Return
Antonio Sabato, Jr in Inspired To Kill
Jason-Shane Scott in The Wrong Roommate
Jeff Ward in Manson’s Lost Girls

Best Supporting Actress
*Toni Atkins in My Sweet Audrina
Eden Brolin in Manson’s Lost Girls
Zoe De Grande Maison in Pregnant at 17
Beth Grant in A Mother’s Escape
Ryan Newman in Bad Sister
Zelda Williams in Girl in the Box

Best Supporting Actor
Blake Berris in Wrong Swipe
Rogan Christopher in Pregnant at 17
*Rhett Kidd in The Wrong Car
Christian Madsen in Manson’s Lost Girls
William McNamara in The Wrong Roommate
James Tupper in My Sweet Audrina

Best Screenplay
Bad Sister, Barbara Kymlicka
*The Cheerleader Murders, Matt Young
Girl in the Box, Stephen Kemp
Mommy’s Little Girl, Christine Conradt
A Mother’s Escape, Mike Bencivenga, Blair Hayes, Kristofer McNeeley
My Sweet Audrina, Scarlett Lacey

Best Cinematography
The Cheerleader Murders, Denis Maloney
Mommy’s Little Girl, Bill St. John
*A Mother’s Escape, Samuel Calvin
My Sweet Audrina, James Liston
The Night Stalker, Quyen Tran
The Wrong Car, Terrence Hayes

Best Costuming
Girl in the Box, Barb Cardoso, Tania Pedro
Manson’s Lost Girls, Dorothy Amos
*My Sweet Audrina, Farnaz Khaki-Sadigh
The Night Stalker, Rebecca Luke
The Red Dress, Sophie Pace
Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart, Mary McLeod

Best Editing
The Cheerleader Murders, Eric Potter
Girl in the Box, Julian Hart
Manson’s Lost Girls, Josh Hegard
*A Mother’s Escape, Travis Graalman
My Sweet Audrina, Charles Robichaud
The Night Stalker, Celia Beasley

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Girl in the Box, Claudia Breckenridge, Jen Fisher, Oriana Rossi, Alex Rotundo, Collette Tolen
Killing Mommy, Cinthia Burke, Christie Capustinsky, Kevin Crawley, Kirsten Fairfield, Margaret Harding-Crawley, Corey J. Stone
*Manson’s Lost Girls, Jenni Brown Greenberg, Randi Mavestrand, Kelly Muldoon, Natalie Thimm
A Mother’s Escape, Jenny Hausam, Toni Mario
My Sweet Audrina, Alannah Bilodeau
Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart, Tara Hadden-Watts, Alexandra Holmes

Best Original Score
911 Nightmare, David Findlay
*The Cheerleader Murders, Cladue Foisy
Inspired To Kill, Brandon Jarrett
A Mother’s Escape, Todd Haberman
My Sweet Audrina, Graeme Coleman
The Wrong Car, Ed Grenga

Best Production Design
Bad Sister, Lia Burton, Danielle Lee
Girl in the Box, Andrew Berry, Jere Sallee
*Manson’s Lost Girls, Cynthia E. Hill, Linda Spheeris
A Mother’s Escape, Zackary Steven Graham
My Sweet Audrina, Tink, Janessa Hitsman
Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart, James Robbins, Courtney Stockstad, Amanda Christmas

Best Sound
*Center Stage: On Pointe
The Cheerleader Murders
Honeymoon from Hell
I Have Your Children
Inspired to Kill
Toni Braxton: Unreak My Heart

Best Visual Effects
Final Destiny
*Flashback
House of Darkness
The Inherited
Little Girl’s Secret
The Watcher

Congratulations to all the nominees and thank you for keeping us entertained in 2016!

Want to see my picks for the best of Lifetime in 2015?  Click here!

And if you want to see my picks from 2014, click here!

Tomorrow, I’ll continue my look back at 2016 with the 16 worst films of the year!

Previous Entries In The Best of 2016:

  1. TFG’s 2016 Comics Year In Review : Top Tens, Worsts, And Everything In Between
  2. Anime of the Year: 2016
  3. 25 Best, Worst, and Gems I Saw In 2016
  4. 2016 in Review: The Best of SyFy

Cleaning Out The DVR, Again #30: The Inherited (dir by Devon Gummersall)


(Lisa is currently in the process of trying to clean out her DVR by watching and reviewing all 40 of the movies that she recorded from the start of March to the end of June.  She’s trying to get it all done by the end of July 11th!  Will she make it!?  Keep visiting the site to find out!)

The-Inherited

The 30th film on my DVR was broadcast on the Lifetime Movie Network on June 5th.  It was aired under the title The Inherited but, according to the imdb, it was originally called Stranger In The House.  I imagine that Lifetime changed the title in order to keep viewers from confusing it with a previous Lifetime film that happened to have the same title.

Anyway, regardless of the title, this is a very confusing movie.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing.  This is just one of those films where, in order to truly understand what’s happening, you have to be willing to give the film some thought.  It’s a film that raises many questions but doesn’t always supply easy answers.  The answers are there but you have to be willing to look for them.

Unfortunately, because this film demands a certain amount of focus on the part of the audience, commercial television is probably the worst place for it to show up.  When the action stops every fifteen minutes for a 3-minute block of commercials, it makes it a little bit difficult to remember what’s happened from one scene to another.

Stranger In The House/The Inherited tells the story of Eve (Jenn Liu) and Tom (Nathan Darrow).  Eve and Tom has just gotten married.  Eve lost her parents when she was younger and — well, to be honest, I’m not sure why the film opens with Eve’s parents dying.  (Later, we find out that Tom’s parents also died when he was young.  Maybe it’s all connected, maybe it isn’t.  I honestly don’t know.)  Tom is a widower.  His first wife died but, in her will, she left Tom her family’s home on the condition that Tom never sell the house.

As soon as Tom and Eve move into the house, strange things start to happen.  Eve thinks that she hears strange noises and she’s upset to discover that Tom has secrets that he hasn’t told her about.  When his former sister-in-law, Wendy (Tammy Blanchard), comes over for dinner, she and Tom get into a huge argument that ends when Wendy’s necklace suddenly tightly wraps around her neck.  Eve thinks there is something terrible in the house but Tom continually says that she’s imagining things.  Fortunately, the housekeeper (Annabella Sciorra) believes Eve and even shares the fact that Tom cooked all of his first wife’s meals before she mysteriously fell ill and died.  Suddenly, Tom’s cooking for Eve…

Soon, Eve doesn’t know who she can trust.  Is the house haunted or is she going crazy?  Is Tom trying to murder her or is Eve just going crazy?  Is the housekeeper Eve’s friend or is Eve just going crazy?  Could the film be any more of a Rebecca rip-off or is Eve just crazy?  Is this film Gaslight or is it The Haunting?

I had to watch the ending a few times before I could tell you for sure.  The Inherited is not always an easy film to follow.  It’s directed in a deliberately dream-like manner, which leads to some memorably surreal scenes but which can also be frustrating when you’re trying to figure out what the Hell’s going on.  Personally, I liked The Inherited because it had a lot of atmosphere, some good acting, and a lot of twists and turns.  But it’s definitely not a film for everyone.  You have to be willing to accept the fact that the movie is never going to make much sense.

On  final note, Jenn Lui not only wrote this film but she also gave herself the lead role.  That was a smart decision because the script is definitely written to her strengths as a performer.  She gives a great performance, one that helps to hold this somewhat uneven film together.