Killer Advice (USA, 2021)

A woman makes a shocking discovery that leads to a downward spiral in this tense thriller that takes its tropes away from the usual shtick.

Beth is a woman who is heavily into her career as a book publicist. When she leaves work one night, she is carjacked. However, her best friend Simone is able to help her in time. The even has left her traumatized and Simone suggests she sees a therapist. After realizing she doesn’t have any option, she decides to go to therapy and meets Marsha, who was recommended by Simone. However, there poses one small problem.

Marsha is not who she seems to be. She decides to manipulate Beth and infiltrate her family. She finds herself pretending to need an attorney and meets Nick, Beth’s husband, who is on the verge of losing his job as budget cuts are inevitable. She also intends to manipulate Beth’s daughter Jess as she feels Beth may be overprotective. When a tragedy occurs, Beth soon discovers things aren’t what they seem. Will she be able to convince everyone she is not insane, or will it be too late?

When it comes to thrillers on the Lifetime network, they tend to have the same old tired plots that offers some sort of twist but ultimately the same old tiring tropes are there. However, this film does away with the tropes but does give a sense of teasing those tropes before ultimately doing the opposite. And for that, it brings something refreshing to the Lifetime thriller.

Kate Watson does a great job as Beth, who we see suffer a traumatic incident in the film’s opening scene where she is carjacked by a masked assailant. The film focuses on her eventual rise in confidence when she meets Marsha, played by Meredith Thomas. As Marsha, Thomas does an amazing job of showing two sides of the coin. One is the sweet natured therapist who wants to be there for Beth. And yet, she shows that other side where she goes completely insane and not only uses manipulation but resorts to murder when things don’t go as she plans. A traumatic incident later in the film leads to a further downward spiral.

While Watson and Thomas lead the show, the supporting cast are great as well. Steve Richard Harris plays Nick, Beth’s husband who is an attorney who is in jeopardy of losing his job only to find redemption with of all people, Marsha. Eric Roberts, yes that Eric Roberts, makes the most of his limited screen time as Trevor, Nick’s boss. Gigi Gustin makes the most of her time as well as Jess, Beth and Nick’s daughter who spends her time studying because she wants to get into a good college but finds herself hindered by Beth’s sense of overprotection, part of her PTSD. As for Gina Hiraizumi, she plays Beth’s bestie Simone, who plays a very pivotal role throughout the film as she is the one who practically introduced her to Marsha, or she thinks.

Killer Advice takes the typical Lifetime thriller and teases the certain tropes that make the genre what it is and goes the opposite route in addition to showcasing the performances of its cast, who do a great job on the film.

WFG RATING: B+

A Mutiny Films production. Director: Jared Cohn. Producer: Jared Cohn. Writer: John Burd. Cinematography: Marcus Friedlander. Editing: Eric Yalkut Chase.

Cast: Kate Watson, Meredith Thomas, Steve Richard Harris, Gigi Gustin, Eric Roberts, Gina Hiraizumi.

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