film reel image

film reel image

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Desperate Widows 2021 * * Stars


"It's more like a prison than a farm". Ouch. Does that mean I can't ride the horsey-s?

Anyway, the best Lifetime films brim with conflict, deception, and "had to" murder. They can be B-movie-style, locale challenged, or campy but still effective. Desperate Widows (my latest write-up) is sadly the most disappointing of Lifetime fare. It trades actual uncertainty and suspense for tedious, detailed buildup. And about the title, it's weak. These women personas are not really desperate. They just need well, someone to talk to or be around.

The story of "Widows" involves a woman named Paige (played by Justine Eyre). After her husband's unexpected death, Paige decides to take her daughter and move to a commune for moms (a Mommune is what they call it). Paige discovers that the commune may also be part of a human trafficking ring. For reasons only the director would know, Desperate Widows doesn't really concentrate on the human trafficking element (it just feels like filler towards the end). If it did, the viewer would have a more compelling watching experience. 

"Widows" has acting in it that comes off as mediocre and laughably reactionary. There's also an opening flash-forward scene that feels like a loose dead end. Finally, there's Lifetime vet Allison McAtee being underused and underdeveloped as commune owner Dianne. I mean she's the baddie here but we never quite know enough about her to dissuade her evilness. 

Girl in the Basement which could chill you to the bone, is my pick for best Lifetime flick so far this year. It's the type of movie that "Widows" wished it could've been. With characters that fade in and out, a narrative that has a weak arc, and an incapability to fear for anyone involved, Desperate Widows is only worthwhile if you're "desperate" to watch something at 4 am when infomercials rule the roost.  

Written by Jesse Burleson

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