#CruelInstruction, #SinisterStepsister, and more – TV Reviews

Table of Reviews

Cruel Instruction – Review

Cruel Instruction – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Fifteen-year-old Kayla has trouble in school.  She is failing all her classes, and a group of boys chase, bully, and attack her daily.  Kayla pulled a school fire alarm to escape them, and the police sent her home.  Kayla tries to explain the bullying and panic attacks.  But her stepdad says to ignore it, and her mom thinks the boys like her.  A school counselor brings Kayla’s parents into the principal’s office for a meeting.  He suggests putting Kayla in a residential behavior health center, Appaloosa Mountain Girls Academy.  They will keep Kayla’s education on track while she gets counseling.  Kayla’s parents look at the brochure and think it will be too expensive.  The counselor checked, and their insurance will cover all of it.  Kayla wakes up late for school the next day.  Instead of finding angry parents, she finds her bags packed with 2 hours to leave for the airport.  

Seventeen-year-old Amanda hikes through the mountains with the Alaska Wilderness Girls Academy as part of her treatment.  She pretends to go to the bathroom and escapes.  They find her, strap her to a bed, and give her an ultimatum.  With this being her 3rd center, only one place will take her: Appaloosa.  Amanda has to go to a juvenile detention center if she doesn’t go to Appaloosa.  The nurse tells Amanda that Amanda doesn’t belong there.  But if she can keep her head down, Amanda can walk out when she turns 18 in 10 months.  Amanda chooses Appaloosa.  

Staff picks up Amanda and Kayla at the airport.  Amanda can see Kayla’s excitement and knows Kayla is a newcomer.  She tells Kayla that this is hell and never let them see you cry.  Kayla believes she can get through this until she gets a public gynecologic exam.  Kayla believes her parents will come and rescue her, but Amanda knows the truth.  Either the parents are in the dark, or they don’t care.  It doesn’t take long for the Dean, Ms. Connie, to show Amanda and Kayla her sadistic nature.  Amanda tells Kayla to find a reason to push through.  If not, the center will destroy your spirit.  However, Ms. Connie wants their unwavering obedience and she will risk their lives to get it. 

Based on actual events, this movie will turn your stomach.  Don’t misunderstand that statement.  The acting, writing, and set designs are astonishing.  However, it’s the abuse that’s painful to watch.  This behavior center only harms these girls by blaming rape survivors and conversion therapy.  They practice torture and cult techniques to break down the girls’ individuality and turn them against each other.  In the end, you discover that these centers are grossly unregulated and use unproven treatments.  Prepare yourself if you have triggers.  For more information, visit Breaking Code Silence.  

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

I feel so alone – Kayla

You can’t think about anybody else in here – Amanda

In here, I’m your mommy and your daddy.  This is my house – Connie

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Sinister Stepsister – Review

Sinister Stepsister – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Jeff spends time with his wife and two kids, Noah and Ella.  Noah is a caring boy, but Ella lightly rebels.  At work, Blake comes into Jeff’s office.  Stan, their boss, wants to see Blake, and Blake worries about the outcome.  Jeff knows Blake is a talented worker, so Jeff tells Blake not to dread the possibilities.  Later, Jeff learns that Blake will be taking over for Stan, making Blake the boss.  Jeff never thought Blake would get promoted over him.  So he goes to a bar to contemplate his next steps.  A woman, Carlee, walks up to Jeff and introduces herself.  He mistakenly thinks she is flirting, but she corrects him.  She asks Jeff if he knew a woman named Jennifer.  Jeff remembers dating Jennifer in high school.  Carlee tells Jeff that he got Jennifer pregnant, and she was the result.  Stunned, Jeff and his wife ask Carlee to take a paternity test.  And she complies.  A few days later, the results prove Carlee is Jeff’s daughter.  Jeff decides to make her a part of the family, but Ella disagrees.  There is something about Carlee that Ella doesn’t trust, and Ella is right.  Carlee is dangerous and will kill for the perfect family.

While entertaining, the movie provides the plot Lifetimers expect.  Carlee is a worthy foe for Ella.  To keep her secret, Carlee fakes lab results, poisons a man, and kills.  But nothing will send a chill down your spine like her interactions with Ella’s boyfriend, Ryan.  First, he tries to catch Carlee in a lie but makes a pathetic blunder.  To keep Ryan in his place, she calmly tells him to back off with a knife at his throat.  Their back and forth will keep your interest throughout this film.  It won’t be a favorite, but it’s worth a chance.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

Thank you, Jeff – Carlee

Hell of a way to get it – Jeff

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If Walls Could Talk – Review

If Walls Could Talk – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Liv calls her father, Eric, with an update.  She and her boyfriend broke up, and now she’s moving out.  As Eric gushes about her coming home, Liv stops him.  She is not moving back home because it’s too far from work and school.  Eric sadly respects her decision and wishes Liv good luck.  In twenty-four hours, Eric is dead, and Liv comes home for the funeral.

Liv comforts her mother, Rebecca, and plans to stay with Rebecca to help get things in order.  Agnes pulls Liv aside and says Rebecca is staying at her home.  Something happened that night that spooked Rebecca.  Rebecca tells Liv that she can feel someone or something in the house.  And Rebecca believes it killed Eric.  Rebecca decided to sell the home, but Liv won’t hear it.  Liv thinks selling the home is a bad idea and convinces Rebecca to come back with her.

Later, Rebecca runs errands and almost backs into a cute guy, Jake.  They have coffee as a peace offering, and he gives her his physical therapist business card.  Later that night, Liv wakes up to a scream.  She finds Rebecca and the bottom of the staircase.  Although she is alive, Rebecca broke her hip and will need physical therapy to heal.  Liv remembers Jake and calls him.  As Liv looks through Eric’s business, she finds devastating secrets.  However, Rebecca’s mental state is a more alarming concern.  Then, bizarre things keep happening that Liv can’t explain away.  Their lives are in danger. But from who? And why?

Congrats to the writers! They took the plot points Lifetimers know so well and used them to sway us towards the wrong person.  You have to pay close attention to figure out the killer, but the motive is easy.  While you watch, Liv’s bold stand will take you aback.  How does a child refuse to let her mother sell her mother’s home? That makes absolutely no sense.  If Liv wants the house, buy it and let Rebecca happily leave.  Until then, Liv should not have a say on Rebecca’s property.  With that said, this movie is worth a watch, especially on Halloween.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

I’m working on it – Eric

Something isn’t right in there, Liv – Rebecca

I think it’s a different kind of sage – Liv

Given our brief history, I feel like I’d be a laugh safe around these guys – Jake

I see Mr. McCharming is back again – Agnes

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A Bridesmaid in Love – Review

A Bridesmaid in Love – UPtv – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Kate got a call from the editor of the number one bridal magazine in the country.  She wants Kate to turn her charity into a monthly how-to column.  Kate will move out of the freelance realm into steady work.  Kate started a service where she is a maid of honor for hire.  She does everything expected of a maid of honor by helping with last-minute plans.  Instead of payment, Kate asks the brides to give money to a charity of Kate’s choosing.

Kate and her friend, Lexi, talk about Kate’s relationship with Ben during yoga.  Kate and Ben will celebrate their first anniversary, and Kate hopes Ben will propose.  Lexi suggests that Kate manifest her dream by purchasing a wedding dress.  Lexi heard that women meet the man of their dreams with this method.  Kate laughs Lexi off but goes to a dress shop to look at the bridesmaid’s dress.  She sees a wedding dress and feels an urge to try it on.  As Kate looks at herself in the mirror, Matt walks into the shop.  Matt had a high-school crush on Kate but never told her.  He is in awe of her beauty.  Kate steps down from the platform to greet Matt and accidently rips the dress.  Now, she must buy it.  Matt explains that he is in town for his sister’s wedding. His sister, Maxine, moved up her wedding to Josh by three months and needs Matt’s help.  So he will be busy.  Later, Kate gets a call from Maxine.  Maxine decides to hire Kate as her maid of honor to help tie up a binder full of loose ends.  But Maxine tells Kate not to worry because Matt will help her.  The family knows he had a crush on her and hopes assisting the wedding will bring them together.

While working together, Kate can see something is weighing on Matt’s mind.  He admits the rat race is tiresome.  Matt wants to change but worries about stability.  She tells him about her writing opportunity, and he’s confused.  When they were in school, Kate started a book that was her passion.  Matt sees how Kate’s eyes light up when she talks about the book.  So, they make a pack.  Kate will work on her book, and Matt will focus on finding a new passion.  By guiding each other to a new path in life, they find a way to love.  But will Ben be in the way?

This movie starts slow and predictable.  But as the wedding comes tumbling down, the laughs build.  In the beginning, you know Ben will be a non-factor to the primary love story.  So, that plot doesn’t hold your interest.  The wedding blunders will keep your eyes on the screen during the second half of the movie.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

Absolute showstopper – Matt

What is there to feel – Kate

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