Teresa told me to watch this and that it was ridiculous and I asked if it was about Ariel Castro and she said no way because it was all white people and other crazy things… but hahaha, it IS supposedly based on Ariel Castro so Lifetime ruins another scary true story. She found online that they’re making another, more real, version of this story as well so maybe they already knew this one was going to be mocked before it ever aired?
The actual true story is so heinous and crazy that it’s weird they came up with a different movie first. Get it together, Lifetime!
*I think I should put a trigger warning up at the top because some terrible things happen later and I want to lay that out now*
The movie opens with a couple walking home and the husband is all flirty and talking about how hot his wife is but… they get home and they’ve been robbed. The wife is someone I liked on Parenthood and she’s apparently also on True Blood and Dexter.
She’s upset because her grandma’s jewelry is all gone and BAM! A dude jumps into the room all “gimme your purse! And your ring!” because he’s just been in their living room this whole time.
She says it’s her engagement ring so she wants to keep it but he’s all “no, I have a gun, give me your ring” and her dude agrees that she should do that. The guy says he’ll kill them if they call the cops as he gets out of there.
Jess to Cop: What are the odds of catching this guy and getting my engagement ring back?
Cop: I wouldn’t get your hopes up.
Why is she so obsessed with her engagement ring when he took all of her grandma’s jewelry and her purse etc…
A weird scene where the boyfriend wakes up in the middle of the night and she’s not in bed and the music is tense but he walks into the kitchen and she’s packing up plates. He asks what she’s doing and she’s all “moving” but not in the “I’m moving out and you’re dumped” kind of way but apparently they bought a house and are moving to the suburbs because in the next scene they’re moving in. WHAT?! Wouldn’t he know that? Why is he confused to see her packing?
They giggle and goof off with their U-Haul in the suburbs. Birds chirp. A squirrel winks at her and throws her a nut. Are you getting how precious the suburbs are going to be? Not like the mean city where people rob you. No sir.
Their neighbor comes over to say hi and he’s styled like a white guy living in 1950 and possibly playing boring jazz.
He brings them wine and kisses her hand and says “charmed.” He also teaches men’s studies at the University. What?! No. Maybe he actually is living in 1950 and that is the twist? He calls Jess a real “firecracker.”
Boyfriend says she was rude but she says she was joking (she totally mocked men’s studies being a thing). Don’t apologize, Jess, that class should not be real.
Some other day Jess sits in front of her giant computer screen (she’s a graphic designer I think) and her friend/coworker? calls and they want to talk about some case but she wants to focus on work.
She says they can talk about the case for a little while but then she has to get to work. Their hobby is talking about missing person’s cases?
We see her dude pull into the driveway and she’s all “oh no! I wasted the whole day on this!” She spent like 10 hours talking about this case and didn’t realize it?
Hubby (who is named Evan) is all cranky because traffic from the city to the suburbs sucks. He just hopes dinner isn’t too cold because he’s starving. No worries, there is no dinner, just a giant computer monitor. She breaks the news that she forgot to make dinner and he’s cranky again. He gets more upset when he finds out she was chatting with Oscar all day today while he pays the mortgage. She says this is just their first day in the suburbs and they will figure it out. FIRST DAY! Wow. If one day of traffic has him this cranky he needs to get a job closer to home stat.
I’m still totally confused about what 1. Her and Oscar’s relationship is. 2. Why Oscar seemingly sits in a giant warehouse with a desk in the middle of the room. 3. How is solving missing persons cases a hobby?
Jess sees the snazzy neighbor leaving and she goes outside to apologize and again he calls her feisty or something. I’m betting he doesn’t love strong women as much as he loves to quip about them. He even drives an old car so I think I’m onto something with him being a man actually from the 50s. He says he’ll see what else he can dig up in his cellar to bring over and I know he’s saying wine cellar but I think this alludes to his cellar full of women’s bones as well.
They make vague plans to hang out at some point.
Simon, the neighbor, is drinking wine with them on the patio and Evan is all “I feel bad pairing such a good wine with barbecue.” Simon has tuned out because he’s staring, in slow motion, at Jess setting the table. Very smooth.
Jess says the thing she’s best at making is rhubarb pie and Evan points out that she hasn’t made one in a while. Simon looks positively delighted by the idea of a rhubarb pie.
Simon says he’s a relic of a bygone era and talks about how his parents were super traditional. Jess says he must get lonely in that big house all by himself. As creepily as you can imagine he says “I didn’t always used to be alone in there but I guess the white picket fence wasn’t her taste so she moved in with the guy she was cheating on me with. CHEERS!”
Evan says Jess can sense if he has even looked at another woman. Interesting reaction to that story. Simon is all “oh, the possessive type.”
Jess says that she’s a graphic designer and an amateur crime fighter and tells him about how she looks at old cases and tries to solve them and he says that he’s heard about that hobby. Am I the only one who hasn’t? Is this because of Serial?
They’re getting ready for bed and they’re partially undressed while we see it from a perspective of someone peeping on them. They’re on the 2nd floor so I don’t know where this dude is lurking- maybe he can fly?
Evan thinks she should set him up with one of her friends but she says they’d probably be too possessive for him. She’s picking up on his weirdness, that’s for sure. Evan is totally oblivious.
Evan reminisces about how when they started dating she’d get lipstick on his collars so that people knew he had a lady. This must also be a clue because that’s a very weird detail.
She thinks Simon smelled like perfume earlier so she thought he was seeing someone. I bet this turns out to be a clue. They start to do it while someone watches them from the trees or something.
Jess is really trying to embrace the suburbs while planting bulbs outside and looking angry.
That’s exactly what I look when I have to garden. She hears Simon arriving home and runs over to ask him if he has better gardening tools because her trowel isn’t cutting it. I hate gardening so much but was forced to do it as a kid and here I am remembering garden tool names. Gross. Get out of my brain! Make room for something better like guitar playing.
Jess asks if he’s making dinner for someone and he says “no, why do you ask?” and she says he has a lot of food for a single guy. Man, she’s so nosy. He says that he hates shopping so he just buys a lot of food at once but I will say that in the bags all we see is tons of lettuce. She looks totally skeeved out.
Inside she tells Evan that Simon is weird and she thinks he lies to her and is weird. Instead of being supportive Evan is all “stop making this into one of your crimes to solve!” and then he says that they made the decision to move here so she could feel safe but it doesn’t seem like she’s going to feel safe anywhere. Pretty dick move there hubby. If your wife thinks a dude is a creep and is uncomfortable around him you should always listen.
Saved by the bell! Simon is there with a shovel all “I remembered that I bought another shovel when my old one broke” and in his hand is a shovel for her to borrow. Evan says that she’s right, Simon is weird…. he’s just nicer than regular people. Okay, go marry him then, Evan. Maybe he’ll let you play sax in his white guy jazz band from the past.
Jess goes to return the shovel the next day but he’s not home so she peeks in the windows but no one is home.
This leaves her more convinced that he’s weird because the inside of his house looks like a model home and like no one lives there. She tells Oscar all about it but Oscar says she might be reading more into it and that being weird isn’t a crime.
CUT TO- Simon looking at all of his house cameras in the dark and seeing that Jess came by today and smiling to himself as he watches her look into his window.
Simon calls Jess and asks if she’s busy. She says she’s working but he says he found something that he thinks she’ll like and asks if she wants to pop over. She goes over there. Why? Use your gut intuition and avoid men who make you feel sick to your stomach!
He tells her her present is in the kitchen… it’s a 50s housewife dress that he saw and thought of her.
Creeeeeeeeeeeeeep. She says she can’t accept it. He says that she doesn’t like her present.
Oh good her next present is him pressing play on his laptop and showing her exactly how freaky he is while she starts to cry and panic.
He says that when he saw her looking into his house he realized that she’d rather be with him. He now knows that she chooses him. He chloroforms her as we head to commercial.
She comes to in… a different house? Somewhere that looks like the 50s. Not only is it totally amazingly beautiful but there is a 50s housewife already in there.
She welcomes her home. Jess freaks out and tries to get out but there appears to be no way out. She’s informed that this is Simon’s basement and that the more noise they make the more angry Simon gets so to please stop. She doesn’t care and goes right on screaming.
Meanwhile he’s at her house stealing her underwear, as you do.
Okay, this is not the Ariel Castro story at all. Lifetime, stop it. This is some bananas other thing featuring suburban white people and some guy obsessed with the 50s. Not everything has to be from the news.
Evan gets home while Simon is still in their house but he sneaks out undetected. When Simon comes into the basement he’s annoyed at how much stuff she’s broken and says she has to clean all of this up and looks like he’s going to slap his housewife lady. While he does that Jess runs out the door he left open but down an empty hallway with another steel door with a code on it.
This is scary as shit. You don’t need to pretend this is a true story, just make this movie.
Simon tells her that no one can hear her scream and to come back to him. He also tells her that she can kill him down here if she wants but that she’ll die down there too. She asks why her suitcase is there and he says that she packed it when she left Evan. She looks horrified because holy shit, this is her life now.
Meanwhile Evan came home early to apologize to her for being a jerk yesterday but she is nowhere to be seen. Her ichat is beeping though so he’s confused. Oh, and her phone is on her desk. Definitely weird.
Back in the basement Jess asks Robin how she got here and she says “same as you, Simon chose me.” Simon sits upstairs and watches them while he sips wine. She says that she was one of Simon’s students and she thinks she’s been here for a few years. Jess is all “YEARS?!” and she says “this is where we’re meant to be.” Robin says that she now understands how much Simon loves her. Let’s say that’s true- how does she like having a sister wife now?
Simon get home and it’s all “honey! I’m home!” He brought Jess some presents but he calls her Jessica. Nicknames are for modern women. Robin is a little sad that he didn’t bring her any presents but she tries to play it off. He also brought her a typewriter because he wants her to work on her book- he supports her creative ambitions you see. Whatta guy!
She says that she doesn’t know what he did to Robin but that won’t ever be her. Ding! Dinner’s ready. She doesn’t want to eat though so she doesn’t go to the table… Ding! Doorbell and it’s Evan. She can see on the old console tv their whole conversation. Simon lies about calling her earlier and saying she sounded upset. Evan leaves.
At home Evan finds the picture of them that Simon smashed in the garbage and that her suitcase and some clothes are missing. Meanwhile her phone is there and her computer is on so he doesn’t think this adds up.
Evan is at some dude’s house telling him how weird this is, Jess doesn’t act like this. Dude asks if things have been bad and he says no but that last night she was mad and he slept on the couch and then left this morning but it’s not like her to run off. Friend mentions that she ran off one time in Peurto Vallarta… we’ll never know what that was because Evan is all “that’s different! That was before we got engaged!” Yeah, getting engaged usually fixes any problems you had as a couple before. Science!
Friend asks if she’s seeing anyone else and Evan says no way but then friend asks about the amateur crimefighters. Evan has a lightbulb moment and thinks it could be Oscar. I’m more confused as to how she has these good friends that she talks to everyday that he has never met and doesn’t know at all.
They head over to Oscar’s and Friend claims to be a cop and is really aggressive with him. Oscar is nice to them and has a totally cool, giant loft in whatever city this is supposed to be. I guess amateur crimefighting pays more than I realized.
Oscar says that she told him she thought Simon was a creep and Friend asks why and Evan says “you know Jess” in a way that implies she exaggerates men being shitty all the time. Shut up, asshole. Jesus Christ, now that she’s missing maybe believe her? Oscar says that if he hears anything he’ll let them know and Evan is all condescendingly “leave the police work to us, okay.” I hate this guy.
I’m going to give this movie some credit for not making any jokes about how Jess would never leave Evan for this weirdo chubby guy. They don’t make fun of Oscar at all. How refreshing.
Oh, so his friend is named Tyler and is actually a cop. They go to chat with Simon and while asking him questions Evan actually apologizes for asking him things because Evan just wants to annoy me at this point.
Back in the basement Jess is trying to deprogram Robin and I guess it’s going as well as possible. Robin seems about to break but wouldn’t Simon be watching this on his many computer screens? They should find the security cameras in the basement and break them one day but say they didn’t match the 50s theme.
Simon comes in and tells Jessica to write down her email address and password and she says no but then he looks at her menacingly and she does it. I have more than one email… I feel like in times like these that could come in handy.
Then we see Evan getting an email from her saying that she found a better man and left him.
In the basement Jess is now trying on dresses and Simon thinks they found the one (it’s the blue one he showed her earlier) and asks Robin if she loves it and Robin kind of nods.
Jess looks miserable so he tells her to be happier and she says that she wants to go home. He squeezes her hand until it might be broken? She gives in. He tells Robin to start doing Jess’ hair and make up. When Robin moved in who did hers?
Evan is shocked that after 6 years she doesn’t even have the decency to dump him face to face- he thinks something is still off about all this. I give him credit for that at least. Friend Tyler is all “let her go” so he’s a great cop. As good as the one from the opening scene who wasn’t helpful at all.
In the basement Jess is all in 50s costume and the roast is done. Simon tells her she looks pretty and then lectures her about saying thank you.
This may be an unpopular opinion but so far he hasn’t done anything THAT scary (besides the kidnapping part) so I’d keep fighting back. Let him break my hand, make me look worse and then ruin his own fantasy. Kill me and then let my rotting corpse ruin his beautiful basement house fantasy. I might be nuts.
He even brought her some Detective Comics to stimulate her writing. She should write a book all about this and then see if he is still supportive of her creative pursuits. Robin asks how his drink is and he totally blows her off so Robin is reaching a breaking point here.
Simon hands Jess a giant butcher knife to carve the roast and she takes it. After she gives him the first piece of roast she beans him over the head with a cast iron skillet and then hits him in the face. He’s out cold on the floor as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial he’s tied up and she’s torturing him to get the door code out of him. She’s actually being far more violent than he has been so far in this movie. I like this – she really IS a firecracker!
Oh god, Robin steps in frees him and tackles her. She is the worst. Fucking kill Robin please. I’m just venting.
Simon, after all of this, just sort of squeeze’s Jess’ neck and licks her face. See what I mean?? She just almost killed him and he licks her face. He’s not that scary in a weird way.
Jess lays in bed crying while Robin tells her that she stepped in because she didn’t want to lose her home and that she didn’t want Jess to end up like Megan. Oh, but who is Megan? Megan was someone who couldn’t find love in her heart for Simon so Simon made Robin kill her. No big deal. Robin would just prefer not to have to do that again.
Evan sees Simon with a giant bloody head wound and asks what happened and Simon lies that he had an accident on his bike but Evan seems leery. Evan still loves him though because Evan is the worst. They watch the baseball game and drink brewskies and talk about shitty women betraying them so they’re becoming best friends I guess.
Meanwhile in the basement Jess is hitting the ceiling with a broom while Robin gasps about her doing bad things. On their tv in the basement they see Evan and Simon watching baseball and Simon pulls out a gun while Evan is out of the room so that Jess sees it and freaks out. He just continues to watch baseball though so the gun was just a scare tactic.
Simon comes into the basement and starts “seducing” Jess and by that I mean starting to rape her to poppy old music while Robin brushes her hair frantically in the other room. They show Evan throwing away all of her stuff instead of the rape which is a better choice by far but that scene was awful and I take back everything I said about Simon not being that scary. He’s a kidnapper and a rapist.
Chris got home like 10 minutes ago and was all “what are you watching??” and I told him the broad strokes and I was like “but this guy isn’t that scary, the situation is terrifying but beyond that he just says he’s scary a lot” and Chris looked at me like I was insane. He asked if he was holding these women captive in the basement and I said yes and he said that he seems pretty terrible. Then the rape happened and he just gave me a look like “See!!” and yeah, okay, he’s correct. I hope these women murder him.
Also, back to Evan, okay he got an email. Wouldn’t he still talk to her mom or her friends or something to find out if anyone has heard from her in a week or however long she’s been gone? They’ve been together for 6 years and he doesn’t even wonder where she is? I hope that she somehow kills Simon, escapes and dumps Evan.
Evan is selling his house. Did I mention that Evan is Canadian? Well, the actor is because his accent shines in almost every sentence. Simon walks up to chat with him about his move. Doesn’t your realtor handle this sign business? He hammers and hammers the sign in but it never seems to work.
The ladies are in the basement working on another giant dinner from the past when Robin complains that Jess has been hogging all the nights and that she doesn’t get any nights with Simon anymore. Yeah, Robin is complaining that Jess is getting raped too often and it’s cramping her style with her boyfriend. This movie. Robin then accuses Jess of playing hard to get so that Simon will want her more. Holy shit, this is making my skin crawl.
Simon “gets home” and Robin has a big smile while Jess just stands there but he clearly prefers her.
Don’t worry, Simon and Robin are in bed where she’s falling asleep and he’s READING THE EFFING BIBLE. Robin says that Jess still loves Evan and is just pretending to be happy here so they should just get rid of her. Oh Robin, you’re so dumb, he isn’t going to let her go, he’s going to have you murder her or something. Waiiiiiiit. I think Robin wants to murder her.
Simon screams for Jessica to wake up and get out here and what do you know- he’s Canadian too but only when he screams. He says that Robin said all of these things and Jess is all “why??? I didn’t say these things.” Oh my god, he just pulls out a knife and slits Robin’s throat and then holds her in his arms and says that he, like the lord, doesn’t have room for people with lies in their heart.
WHAT THE HELL IS THIS MOVIE?! WHAT HAVE I DONE WHY AM I WATCHING THIS.
He tells Jess to go into her room and put on some loud music and we see her crying while he cuts up a body in the other room. Jesus. How is he so good at murder and hiding bodies?
Oscar calls up Evan’s cop friend and talks super fast about how Jessica is still missing. Cop friend doesn’t give a shit but Oscar is still working this case because he’s better than the cop by about 100%. Turns out a girl at every school Simon has taught at has gone missing. Cop says “that could happen to any teacher.” Could it?? God, I hate the police. Oscar has more details about how he’s been arrested but is always let go and Cop friend is a little more interested and says he’ll look into it.
Simon and Jess are just sitting in the basement holding each other. God, I’d die of boredom in this basement if Simon didn’t kill me first. The doorbell rings and it’s the cop friend. Tyler the cop just walks into the house and is all “big house for a single guy” and then says he’s going to walk around and Simon doesn’t stop him. Tyler is in the laundry room when he brings up Robin and how Simon was a suspect in her disappearance and was her boyfriend. Tyler starts touching the wine and the wine blocks the door to the basement so he’s getting closer.
So the basement he keeps the women in is below his first basement?? How does it get so much natural light?? If he wasn’t a murderer and a rapist I’d say he should get his own HGTV show.
The cop asks about Megan and Simon just hauls off and kills the cop. That seems like a bad choice and like the heat will really be on him now but good. I’d like more heat to be on him. Jess sees all of this happen on the tv. When he comes back to the basement Jess is all “you did what you had to do” and we learn that Simon sill doesn’t believe her. Why hasn’t he slit her throat then?
Somehow Evan already sold this house. Simon casually brings up Evan’s friend being murdered and asks if they found anything out about that and Evan is all “nope.” Man, Evan has had a rough year. Oh wait, but he’s so stupid that he thanks Simon for everything.
For some reason Simon says he wants to show her something upstairs. They go through the wine rack and Chris is all “wow, did he build all this himself? He’s a real renaissance man.” See! I’m not wrong about the HGTV offer.
Simon walks her the front window while we see the gun in the back of his pants. He wants her to see the for sale sign in Evan’s yard. She says Evan must be sad and is all loving to Simon and it’s so gross. She says they should do something for him and Simon says he does have another bottle of the wine Evan likes. She kisses his collar.
He’s over at Evan’s drinking some wine and even dumb ol’ Evan notices the lipstick on his collar and gets suspicious. This is Jess’ move!
In the morning Simon says that he really slept heavily and Jess is all “I want to make you rhubarb pie” and he eats that up. He says to tell her what she needs.
Meanwhile Oscar calls up Evan and is all “Sorry I’ve been out of town for a few days but I just saw that your friend was murdered.” Oscar drops the bomb that he told the cop about Simon that day and then he disappeared. Even Evan can’t ignore this news.
Maybe Oscar should, oh I don’t know, TELL THE POLICE THAT TOO SINCE TYLER WAS A COP! Oh my god this movie.
Simon is on the ground having this rhubarb pie picnic with Jess and she’s all “it’s a picnic, eat with your hands!” and he’s so thrilled to do something fun.
Okay, I can tell what she’s doing here and I like it. Rhubarb pie is the only dessert she ever made for Evan so if he smells it or sees it on Simon he’ll know Jess is in there.
Oh! Evan is in his house. We can see it on the old timey tv.
Evan is yelling for Simon but he’s very aggressive. I hope that he brought a weapon knowing that his friend THE COP was killed by this maniac. Then it happens… he smells the rhubarb pie. He knows Jess is there! Simon is all “you bitch!” and takes off to deal with Evan and then says he’ll deal with her later.”
Jess’ plan doubly pays off because he hits the code to get out and his dirty, rhubarby hands show which numbers he pressed so that she can figure out the code.
As he beats the shit out of Evan (who did not come armed because he is still the dumbest) she figures out the code and comes in and saves him.
Simon beats her but she fights back and tells him that he’ll have to kill her because she won’t be living in that basement anymore. He says he’ll make her wish she was dead- but she finds some cleaner and sprays it in his eyes.
Meanwhile, I’m at home yelling “ANYTHING CAN BE A WEAPON!” because I learned that from an Oprah years ago and it’s like she heard me. Then she hits him over the head with a fire extinguisher and keeps hitting him. Bloodied Evan is all “stop” because he doesn’t want her to kill him and I’m like “shut up Evan.”
ONE YEAR LATER.
We see a cool shot of “the city” they live near that we’ll never hear the name of. Evan asks if he should go in with her and she says she’s fine. Chris says that if it’s the trial he should probably go in since he was beaten and everything.
But it’s not the trial- it’s jail on the way to prison and she just wants to tell Simon that she didn’t kill him because she wanted him to live like a prisoner for the rest of his life because that’s what he deserves. Andddddd, she wrote her book and it’s about this nightmare she lived (just like I wanted!) and it’s already a best seller so she’s been really busy this past year.
She tells him to admit that she was smarter than him and that she won.
The end was really abrupt but it did really pay off so I liked that.
I’m still angry that they started it off with “based on a true story” because it obviously isn’t and is not even 1% like the true story they’re claiming it is but if they said it was just a movie someone made up I would have liked it more. It’s so creepy and already a lot of women’s fears realized. I was legitimately freaked out by it.
This article points out how different from the real story this movie is:
Is Lifetime’s Kept Woman Based on a True Story?
Also, on message boards people are annoyed by Simon’s stubble because in the 50s he would have been clean shaven. Chris was annoyed that he looked like a lot of his teachers and guys who live in Portland and not truly vintage enough. Maybe this wasn’t Serial’s fault, maybe it was Mad Men’s.