#PsychoStormChaser, #DeathSheWrote, and more – TV Reviews

Table of Reviews

Psycho Storm Chaser – Review

Psycho Storm Chaser – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

The local newscaster interviews Abby for a segment about the hurricane warning.  Abby tells the newscaster that if the storm gets bad, she will go where her patients go.  They come first.  The next day, she wakes up after dreaming about her ex-boyfriend, Jack, then heads to her job.  She is a day nurse for a comatose patient named Hannah.  Hannah’s sister, Ms. Banks, hired Abby and Tony to give Hannah round-the-clock care.  As Ms. Banks tries to admonish Tony for his reading choices, they all get a weather alert on their phones.  The hurricane warning changed to a hurricane watch, and it will be a category three hurricane.  Abby tries to make arrangements with the hospital to airlift Hannah, but the line is busy.  Ms. Banks refuses to leave, so they decide to ride the storm out.  Abby goes into town for food and supplies for the generator.  As she packs the car, a man startles her.  Abby recognizes him from TV.  He is Dr. Carl, a TV storm chaser.  He tells Abby to respect the storm and leave, but she brushes him off and walks away.  Abby doesn’t know that Dr. Carl is a deranged man that uses hurricanes to cover up murders.  He kills anyone who stays behind and tries to ride out the storm.  He thinks Abby looks like his late wife, and he hopes Abby will be smart enough to leave before he comes to Ms. Banks’s door looking for survivors to kill.

Kudos for a high body count! This film will satisfy your bloodlust because each segment offers a fresh kill.  These writers pulled classic horror scenes and dynamic scores to make your heartbeat just a bit faster.  If having a killer in the house isn’t enough, they have the doom of an unconscious patient relying on a generator to live.  It’s not long before they have to brave the storm and Dr. Carl to refuel, or Hannah will die.  Surprisingly, Lifetime didn’t save this movie for Halloween.  If you like a fun thriller with a sprinkle of gore, this is the movie for you.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Oh, it will go higher. A lot higher– Carl

That’s what you pay a therapist for – Tony

I can’t let you do that alone – Abby

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Death She Wrote – Review

Death She Wrote – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Lila Demarco signs books for anxious fans while her assistant, Isabelle, watches from the sideline.  As Isabelle keeps an eye on Lila’s schedule, Mary starts a conversation with her.  Lila is Mary’s favorite author, and Mary can’t believe Isabelle gets to work with Lila.  Mary became a fan of Lila’s books when she was nine years old.  Then, Mary created Lila’s fan club.  And now, Mary wants to become a writer.  Isabelle tells Mary that she will be leaving Lila soon because she is getting married and moving.  So, Isabelle is interviewing for a replacement and gives Mary an email to apply.  On a dinner out, Isabelle forces Lila to look over candidates for her job.  In denial of Isabelle’s departure, Lila chooses a candidate, but Isabelle worries he will be too focused on fame.  So, Isabelle suggests Mary.  With a bit of apprehension, Lila agrees.  Excited, Mary arrives at Lila’s home to learn the lay of the land.  Mary studies Lila’s needs, pet peeves, and schedule.  While getting acclimated to her new role, Mary takes the initiative to help Lila increase her online presence.  Isabelle was a great assistant, but social media was not her forte.  As Lila makes herself indispensable, she asks to attend the meeting with Lila and her editor, Eleanor.  Knowing Mary wants to become a writer, Lila gladly takes her under her wing and makes Mary her project.  As time goes by, Lila needs Mary more than ever.  Lila is losing track of time, sleeping late, and hearing and seeing things.  With Lila’s ever-growing odd behavior, family and friends wonder if Mary is the cause.  

This movie is Swimfan meets Misery with a dash of Single White Female (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  You are not sure the moment Mary starts to lose her mind.  But when she does, she uses everything at her disposal to get Lila under her thumb.  She uses her knowledge of Lila to crack Lila’s passwords and check Lila’s email.  Mary drugs Lila with fake cooking and changed prescriptions.  And if that’s not enough, Mary uses Lila’s phone to catfish Lila’s fiancé, Rand, and Lila’s nephew, Eric.  Mary will stop at nothing to make Lila write her book or take over Lila’s life, and you will enjoy watching it all unravel.  Also, you do get the fall down the stairs.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

Knock two times – Mary

She’s more than an assistant to me. She’s my project – Lila

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Deadly Mom Retreat – Review

Deadly Mom Retreat – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

After winning a large architecture contract, Jules wants to celebrate but is apprehensive.  Her friends, Marissa and Karen, want to go to a singles mixer because Jules is divorcing her husband, Tom, soon.  They want to help Jules get back on the dating scene.  While Jules begrudgingly gets dressed, she receives threatening text messages from an unknown sender and hears a noise coming from downstairs.  She grabs a bat to check on the noise, and Tom’s appearance startles her.  He walked into the home without knocking because he lived there.  Jules corrects him on divorce etiquette, but he wants to focus on getting back together.  She reminds Tom of his lack of support and numerous affairs, but he wants to put it in the past for their daughter, Rosalie.  She refuses his olive branch and goes to the club to meet Marissa and Karen.  At the bar, Marissa tells Jules that her crush, Zach, is coming.  When Zach arrives, Marissa and Karen make themselves scarce so Jules and Zach can have time alone.  Jules and Zach make small talk, but she gets another text message.  Zach tells her to tell the police, but Jules explains she did, and they were little help.  Because the threats are virtual, the police advised her not to engage.  During their conversation, Jules romantic rival for Zach’s affection, Georgia, takes him away.  Marissa tells Jules that Zach will be attending a singles retreat hosted at her lodge this weekend.  Marissa advises Jules to come and create some moments with Zach.  Jules doesn’t like spas but agrees to go.  Hours before her trip, Rosalie accidently reveals that Tom has a girlfriend named Claire.  When Jules confronts Tom about the relationship, Tom swears he will break it off.  But Tom didn’t want to do it by text because Claire is on a business trip.  He wants to get back with Jules.  Disgusted by Tom’s constant lies, Jules leaves for her trip with renewed purpose.  In the parking lot, Jules sees Georgia and waves, but Georgia gives her the cold shoulder.  Jules decides to ignore Georgia and meets up with her friends.  They plan to gather at the meet and greet later for drinks.  During the gathering, Georgia interrupts Jules and Zach again.

Marissa pulls Jules aside by the fire for what Jules believes is drinks, but Marissa has an ulterior motive.  Marissa texted Zach to get him away from Georgia.  The pair have drinks and talk about enjoying some activities together.  When Jules walks to her cabin, she becomes unsteady and falls in the snowy woods.  She wakes up to Zach and Marissa caring for her.  Marissa leaves them alone, and they kiss.  In the morning, Jules gets another text message and believes someone drugged her. She tries to go home, but someone slashed her tires.  Someone has Jules in their crosshairs. And at this remote location, no one will hear her scream.

Peanut allergies, spas, and death threats, oh my.  Lifetimers get ready to have most of the boxes checked with this movie.  Experienced watchers will have the harasser pegged within the first 30 minutes, but the plot tries its hand at misdirection several times.  It’s a valiant effort, but an effort Lifetimers are accustomed to seeing. Witnessing Jules using the same communication to find her stalker is poetic justice.  With so many plot similarities, it’s pleasing to see this movie end with Jules putting herself first but still offering forgiveness.  This movie is worth a go if you need to kill two hours.  

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

That’s not how a divorce works – Jules

Only in 17 states.  I checked – Marissa

Remember, you’ve already been banned from 2 other rideshares – Karen

Better you than me because I don’t think you could carry me – Zach

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Mystery 101: Deadly History – Review

Mystery 101: Deadly History – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes

After solving a case, Amy gets a call from her father, Graham, with troubling news.  Amy’s uncle Al is missing.  Amy and her newly-appointed boyfriend, Detective Travis, drop everything and fly across the country to help Graham.  The trio meets with Sheriff Harry to discuss the case, and Harry tells them the last known person to speak to Al was 72 hours ago.  Also, there was no ransom demand. With very little to go on, Amy asks to look through Al’s home with an experienced Travis.  With the guidance of Sherlock Holmes, Amy looks for what’s not there (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). 

Along with blood on the floor, Amy notices that Al’s stack of current reading material, clothes, gauze, and duffle bag are gone.  If someone took Al, that person allowed him to dress his wounds, pack, and take his books.  These actions are odd for a ruthless kidnapper but fall in step with someone who cares for him.  Graham, Amy, and Travis decide to stay in town and help Harry search for Al.  They go to the Kent Lake House, and Jennifer checks them into the hotel.  After they check-in, Graham, Travis, and Amy decide to interview Al’s estranged wife, Carmella, his protege, Professor Mark, his T.A., Lucy, and his tutoring student, Jane.  Before they leave, the hotel owner, Olly Kent, comes to the table and asks for Graham’s autograph.  Olly tells them his father built the hotel, and he runs it with his mother, Eleanor.  With connections to everyone in town, Olly offers to give help wherever they need it.  As they uncover the life of Al, Amy and Graham reveal how little they know about him.  With an affair, recorded threats, and a report to the ethics board, the group will find the deadly history that leads to Al’s disappearance.

Sleuthers have your murder board by your side because you will need it to keep track of all the clues, suspects, and motives.  During the recap, you will surely see something you missed.  But one thing your eyes will see is someone putting their hands on our Graham.  You will be ready to jump up and defend our favorite professor-turned-author.  Although the characters don’t say the word, you will see signs of an abusive relationship during the mystery.  Hallmark rarely discusses abuse, but they do cover it with kid gloves and blatant inference.  While no character says the word abuse, they offer legal and physical recourse for the survivor.  This small but significant detail will connect to many watching at home.  This mystery is another compelling addition to a stellar series on HMM.  So sit back and have your wine ready, because you will need it.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

So this is … order – Travis

And I’ve always been impressed with your charming evasion – Amy

Grief pays no mind to time – Graham

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Waking Up to Danger – Review

Waking Up to Danger – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Arianna wakes up in a hospital bed in tremendous pain with no memory.  Her husband, Rich, calls for the doctors and nurses to tend to his wife.  The doctor tells Arianna that she was in a car crash and broke several bones.  To help her heal, the doctors put Arianna into a coma for three months.  Swelling in her brain caused her memory loss, but the doctor doesn’t believe it’s long-term.  With physical therapy, the doctors believe Arianna will be back to normal in a few months.  While this information causes some comfort, Arianna hates not remembering her parents, her daughter, Izzy, Rich, nor her friend, Jordan.  While she was in a coma, Jordan helped Rich take care of Izzy.  At Arianna’s hospital bed, Jordan promises to continue until Arianna comes back home.  With perseverance, Arianna learns to walk with crutches and gets the green light to go home with continued care.  Arianna relies on Jordan and Rich to help her get around the house and take care of household duties and Izzy.  But hushed conversations start to worry Arianna.  She goes online to look up her accident but can’t find it.  With such a horrific accident in a small town, Arianna believes it’s strange that she can’t find it online.  As her memories flood back, Arianna grows fearful that someone in her inner circle caused her accident and may still want to kill her.  

This movie isn’t a whodunit mystery.  Within the first 30 minutes, you know whodunit and why.  It’s watching Arianna uncover the truth while regaining her life that keeps you in your seat.  As Arianna’s memories come back, you see that she suspected this person of misgiving for months before the accident.  Before the car crash, Arianna attempted to come to terms with the betrayal while running a business and taking care of Izzy.  As the fog slowly ascends, Arianna puts her life and her family’s well-being in danger.  The final fight scene is everything Lifetimers wish for in a film.  It’s not a rolling-on-the-ground-hair-pulling fight but a boxing match with jabs, uppercuts, and a gun.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Come on, don’t make me beg – Jordan

Don’t call me that – Rich

Thank god for Jordan – Arianna

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Love, For Real – Review

Love, For Real – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

While her roommate, Bree, creates a dating show fantasy bracket, Hayley puts the finishing touches on her dresses.  Hayley loves her fashion line called Silver Halo, but she needs seed money to expand.  In the morning, Hayley goes to a potential investor, but the investor says no.  Even though Hayley’s designs are beautiful, the investor doesn’t feel that Hayley will go above and beyond for her brand.  Disappointed, Hayley comes home to see a prematurely excited Bree.  When Hayley tells Bree the unfortunate news, Bree comes up with an idea.  After a contestant for her favorite reality TV show, Heart Choices, walked out early, Bree discovered an open casting call to fill the contestant’s spot.  If Bree gets on the show, she will wear Hayley’s dresses and spotlight Hayley as the designer.  The exposure will help Hayley gain investors and expand her brand.  At the casting call, a sign by the elevators takes Hayley by surprise.  It’s a waiver saying that cameras will film them the moment they are on the 7th floor.  While Hayley wants to offer moral support for Bree, Hayley doesn’t want to be on camera.  So she stays back while Bree goes to meet the producer.  By the elevator, Hayley runs into Luke, the Heart Choices’ showrunner.  She gives him an unfiltered opinion about reality TV.  He tells her that he works on the show and challenges her to come upstairs to show unbridled support for Bree.  She takes the challenge and sits next to Bree for a mock interview.  Bree tells Hayley her master plan.  Bree doesn’t want to win the show; however, she wants to be the 2nd runner-up because that woman gets a show next season.  Seeing Bree and Hayley together, Luke gets an idea.  He wants to display an honest friendship on the show, not the typical frenemies.  So he offers Bree a contract but under the condition that Hayley comes too.  It’s either both or neither.  Before Hayley can object, Bree makes her case for a win-win scenario.  They can both wear Hayley’s dresses on the show, and Bree can be 2nd runner-up and get a show.  On Bree’s show, she can wear more of Hayley’s designs.  Hayley signs up for Heart Choices.  Once on set, Bree and Hayley meet the first assistant director, Marie, and Marie lays down the law.  They can’t meet the King of Hearts, Marco, alone.  They can’t have their phones, use social media, or check the news.  They can’t talk to anyone about the show since it airs a few weeks after filming.  They must be on time for all events, and they must stay away from the water fountains.  If they step out of their bungalow, they should assume they are on camera.  If they break the rules, the women will face litigation.  Before Hayley’s first interview, she and Bree talk about Hayley getting herself kicked off early.  Luke sees the conversation and decides to put a kink in Hayley’s plan because he likes her.  He decides not to have evening gowns until the end.  Now they have a problem.  For Bree to get a show and get Hayley’s dresses on the finale, both have to make it to the final two.  But neither wants to win.  They both can’t be second but neither wants to be first.  For Bree and Hayley, love and Marie will guide the way.

It’s hard to imagine making a show about making a show, but this movie does it with ease, humor, and humility.  While pointing out reality TV show clichés, this film gives names to the phenomenons we know all too well.  And let’s not forget our favorite comic relief, Marie.  Her quick wit and meddling antics will keep you laughing each time she is on the screen.  This movie stands out because Bree and Hayley’s friendship never waver over Marco or Luke.  Even as someone tries to tear them apart, the women’s bond holds firm.  And no one falters to the ‘better woman for the guy’ syndrome.  They both get a happy ending with a horse and a spacesuit.  Like all reality shows, this movie needs a follow-up.  

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

You’d be amazed at what we can do in the editing room – Luke

What have we done – Hayley

Welcome to reality TV – Marie

Ok fine, I’ll take one for the team – Bree

For me or for the show – Marco

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