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Sunday, November 19, 2023

One Night Stand Murder 2023 * * * Stars


2023's One Night Stand Murder is a Lifetime movie that wants to stimulate the viewer, as opposed to laying on the schlock or camp or whatever Lifetime-r hack David DeCoteau is cooking up these days (remember The Wrong Cheerleader Coach and The Wrong Fiance?). At 85 minutes, "Murder" ditches the gore and the bore and goes slightly for the noir, as some of the film's shots advocate luxuriant, eerie beauty. Sometimes well, that's sufficient enough. 

Directed by Brittany Underwood, a woman who has made nine flicks in about two years (busy busy), One Night Stand Murder is a whodunit that would make any addition of the Clue board game feel like Romper Room. I mean forget about that whole "Colonel Mustard-did-it-with-a-knife-in-the-library thang", this is much more staggering stuff. "Murder" places enough red herrings and masked tip-offs to power a small country, maybe Guam perhaps. 

The plot of One Night Stand Murder is simple enough, it's how Underwood thinks in fleet cuts that gives it an extra boost. A woman (Casey Waller playing the gulled Alyssa) wakes up in some rich dude's apartment with no recollection of how she got there. Oh and that same rich dude (Fletcher Doyle) is murdered, laying sideways in his king-sized bed. Alyssa must figure out what happened and piece everything together before she herself gets framed for the crime. It's all set to Waspy LA neighborhoods, where basements are nil, the countertops are sterile, and lavish floors are aplenty. 

So yeah, sometimes the acting is a little cheesy and sometimes the actor's appearances are even a little cheesier (the detective character in "Murder" looks like a soap opera rent-a-cop and the lead in Waller gives off a sort of Raggedy Ann vibe). Oh well. One Night Murder entertains by branding its Lifetime roots in a more discerning manner. It's "Night" visioned. 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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