The Stepsister full movie review - O.K. but mediocre and all too typical of Lifetime
The title "You May Now Kill the Bride" makes me think that the film's writer, Blaine Chiappetta (is that a man, woman or chia pet?
), was probably hanging out with some friends and they were brainstorming what would be the silliest parody of a Lifetime movie title they could come up with. I had assumed it would be the hoary old Lifetime trope of a woman who seems to have met her dream man, only to discover once they actually tie the knot that he's a serial killer who's made it his habit to woo, marry and then off women. Instead it was the hoary old Lifetime trope of the nice young couple who seem to be altar-bound without any untoward complications when untoward complications arrive big-time in the person of a stranger who on the surface is just nice, perky and trying to be helpful, but who holds a deep, dark secret underneath. The man is Mark Pressler (Rocky Myers), not exactly a drop-dead gorgeous sex god but considerably more attractive than the tall, lanky, sandy-haired types who usually get cast as Lifetime leading men. His fiancée is Nicole Cavanaugh (Ashley Newbrough), a blonde who's way too trusting of the perky little woman who comes in, establishes herself as their house guest, takes over more and more of the job of planning their wedding, and ultimately reveals herself to have a hidden agenda. She is Audrey (Tammin Sursok), who's introduced as Mark's stepsister even though it's not clear whether they're any biological relation to each other at all ? apparently she arrived with Mark's stepmother and was the offspring of a previous relationship of hers before she married Mark's dad. Apparently this film was shot under the working title "The Stepsister," though writer Chiappetta and director Kohl Glass (he sounds like something you'd buy at Home Depot) followed the formula of Christine Conradt's "Perfect" movies they might as well have called it "The Perfect Sister-in-Law." Trusting couple taken in by crazy bitch? Check. Heroine's best friend who checks out the background of the seemingly "perfect" crazy and gets assaulted for her pains? Check again.
"You May Now Kill the Bride" is an O.K. Lifetime movie; despite its risible title (which I found at least two other entries for on IMDb.com, though one is an episode of a TV series), it's decently made. The direction is acceptable and sometimes more than that ? Glass has a flair for suspense editing even though little in Chiappetta's script requires it ? the writing is O.K. given the strictness of the formula, and the ending actually has a certain degree of power even though the beginning that supposedly foreshadowed it makes no sense. The first scene shows Audrey having bound a woman in a wedding dress and slowly torturing her, though since it isn't followed by a title reading either x amount of time earlier or y amount of time later, we don't know whether that's a tag scene showing what Audrey is going to do to Nicole at the end, a prologue indicating that she did this to one of Mark's earlier girlfriends, or just a fantasy on her part. "You May Now Kill the Bride" is just mediocre; not good enough to transcend its origins in the Lifetime/MarVista Entertainment formula (as Conradt's directorial debut, "The Bride He Bought Online," did) and not silly enough to be watchable as camp, either, though it came close a few times. It's also decently acted, though Tammin Sursok's performance would probably have impressed me more if I hadn't seen altogether too many of these superficially nice but really twitchy psychopath roles in previous Lifetime movies