Fatherly Obsession (2017 Lifetime)

Fatherly Obsession (2017 Lifetime)

Stars:  Ted McGinleyMolly McCookJack Turner

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Alyssa moves into a luxury apartment complex but is unaware she is being watched by her disturbed landlord, Robert, via hidden cameras. Robert will do anything to fill the void left by his estranged daughter–even if that means replacing her.

Thoughts

A smoke fills an apartment complex. The building manager checks on one tenet and finds not fire in the house but an oven full of clothes. As walks through the house and finds the young woman in a bathtub covered in blood and dead. 

Cut to another young woman named Alyssa. She is a stand-up comedian who is heckled by a guy in the audience. Alyssa serves him his ass when she goes through his phone. She also casually mentions being stalked and recently moving to the city as someone records her set. (Note to people in hiding: Do not become a stand-up comedian.) After the set, a handsome man named Oliver chats her up and offers to help her find a place. The place is the same building where the fire/murder happened.

Alyssa stays in a cheap motel with her cat, but after a break-in scare, she decides to call Oliver to set up a walkthrough. The apartment comes with a beautiful community center, an elevator that Alyssa is afraid of, and access to a pool. Oliver also lives in the building and introduces Alyssa to Robert, the landlord, and his sister Helen the building manager. (They are older and creepy.) Alyssa says the place is too good to be true. She asks why the apartment is available, and Robert admits the previous tenet killed herself in the bathtub and offers her the friends and family discount because she reminds him of his daughter, Jane. Alyssa takes the apartment. (I mean it has FREE wifi, fancy high tech keys and comes fully furnished.) 

Robert is helpful and moves Alyssa in. She opens up about being stalked and apologies when her cat doesn’t like him; he laughs it off. The landlord promises Alyssa that she is safe in the building and shows her survivance cameras he has in the hallways. He doesn’t show her the ones that are in her apartment and watches her at night.

Alyssa receives texts from an unknown number about a house warming and is creeped out. She rushes home and runs into a neighbor named Katie. Katie lives above Alyssa and has been arguing with her husband about having kids. When Alyssa goes into her apartment, she finds a card and flowers from Robert. He also gifts her a new mattress. Alyssa calls Robert and tells him it is unacceptable for him to go into her apartment without her consent. Robert apologizes and is embarrassed. To make it up to her, they go to brunch, and Alyssa is surprised to learn Robert served in the Gulf War. Her father did too but died in combat. (Robert knew this already because he was spying on her)  

When Robert comes home, his sister, Helen, is drunk and makes fun of him. She tells him to shut up and take his meds. Robert is mentally unstable. He calls his daughter Jane and talks about Thanksgiving plans. Then he spys on Alyssa and Oliver, canoodling with some virtual reality goggles. (Ummm, what? Is this Black Mirror?) Helen catches him and threatens to call Jane. Robert violently pushes her, causing her to hit her head on a kitchen island and dying.

Without Helen to stop him, Robert goes into Alyssa’s apartment and breaks into her computer. Then he opens her lockbox and plays with a gun she has locked away. Pointing it at the cat and pretending to shoot it. 

Katie runs into Alyssa in the hallway and tells her about Megan. (The girl who died.) Megan thought of Robert about him as a father figure, and they spent time together. She mentions that Roberts’s wife has a restraining order against him. Katie also shows Alyssa a picture of Megan, and they look exactly alike. Robert overhears the conversation and blackmails Katie later. Threatening to tell her husband that she had an abortion if she doesn’t tell Alyssa that he is a good guy.

Alyssa thinks she left her balcony door open, and he cat goes missing. She asks Robert if he as seen the cat, and when she mentions that Oliver is helping her look for the cat, he gets jealous. Robert offers fatherly advice, but Alyssa doesn’t hear him because he isn’t her father.

Oliver and Alyssa look for the car and have tacos instead. They are a cute couple. They 100% don’t find the cat but have sex instead. When Oliver says he likes Alyssa, she pumps the breaks and leaves abruptly. Another girl must have been waiting in the hallways because she swoops in and takes Alyssa’s place. Alyssa goes back and finds him hooking up with another girl seconds after her. She is disgusted with him.

In another stand-up routine, Alyssa goes hard about the new father figure in her life. She doesn’t know that Robert is watching from the bar. Enraged, Robert sends an email for Alyssa’s laptop to her stalker with her address and sets up a meeting. Alyssa finds out from the bartender that Robert was at her set, and she calls him to apologize.

When Alyssa comes home, she finds the woman who hooked up with Oliver in her house. The woman claims to be “ILY,” who is Alyssa’s stalker. The woman pulls out a knife but is stopped by Robert with a flower vase. Alyssa cries in his arms, and he promises she is safe. They call the detectives who confirm that the woman, Sam, is Alyssa’s stalker. 

Robert invites Alyssa over for Thanksgiving and his daughter Jane’s birthday. Alyssa brings over a birthday cake and some flowers. She is the first guest to arrive and is confused about where the other guests are. Robert explains that Helen is helping a family member “who fell,” and Jane’s flight was canceled. Robert gifts Alyssa a necklace and insists he put it on her. They toast and drink wine as a phone call comes in. It is another tenet with a problem. Robert rushes off and tells Jane, whoops, he meant to say, Alyssa. 

Meanwhile, Oliver runs into Katie. They are both sad and alone for Thanksgiving. When Oliver tells Katie that Alyssa is spending her Thanksgiving with Robert and his daughter, Katie realizes that her friend could be in trouble, because Robert doesn’t have a daughter. Jane died six years ago.

Alyssa looks through old photo albums and finds pictures of Jane. She realizes that they look alike and then finds Jane’s funeral program. In the photo, Jane wears the necklace that Alyssa was just gifted. She rushes for the door but hears a cat meowing in the bedroom. Alyssa finds the virtual reality glasses and puts them on. She sees her room and watches herself on surveillance video. Hours and hours of footage are saved. Then she finds Megan’s file and witnesses Robert killing her in the bathtub. Alyssa takes off the glasses and finds her cat. She also finds Helen’s body in the closet. Robert catches her just as the drugs are starting to kick in from the wine.

Alyssa is seated at the table, and Robert sings Happy Birthday to “Jane.” He pulls a gun on her and tells her to blow out her candles. Oliver bangs on the door and busts in the apartment to save Alyssa. Robert holds Oliver at gunpoint and calls for his daughter, “Jane.” Alyssa plays along, much to Robert’s delight. Alyssa distracts him long enough for Oliver to get the gun and shoot the landlord.

Three months later, Alyssa and Oliver are out getting tacos. She thinks she sees Robert and Sam, but it is her imagination. 

Side Note

Minority Report: MC, Katie, Woman on the stairs, Waitress, 

Also known as The Landlord

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Overall rating

🔪🔪🔪🔪 (4 Knives)

🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required.)

*Photo Credit: © 2017 Lifetime

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