Deadly Exchange (2017 Lifetime)
Stars: Lindsay Hartley, Cynthia Watros, Valentina Novakovic
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Samantha Winters and her daughter, Blake, are overjoyed to host their new foreign exchange student, Chloe, for senior year of high school. Chloe wants nothing more than to escape England and have a new family, especially a mother. But Chloe’s posh charm and cunning ways only get her so far, and her unstable fantasies of making Samantha her new mother push her over the edge when things don’t go her way.
The camera pans into a mansion, inside is a British guy named Chadwick and a woman named Rose with an Ax. Before moving to America, Ruth kills Chadwich to write the wrongs of her mother or something. I couldn’t understand their accents. (Just kidding, I was only half paying attention.)
Lifetime MVP, Lindsay Hartley plays Samantha. A single mother who owns a cafe. Her teenage daughter Blake has a troubled past but is turning her life around. Blake has a tech-savvy boyfriend named Jake and is welcoming a foreign exchange student named Chloe. (It is Rose with a different name.) Everyone welcomes Chloe, including a waitress named Lisa and Reporter named Ruth.
Chloe says things like “blimey.” and talks about tea. At high school, all the students are enamored with her. Chloe and Blake sign up for cheerleading tryouts and make the team.
Speaking on being enamored, Samantha is asked out on a date by a handsome man named Scott. Samantha hasn’t been ready for dating since her husband died but will make an exception for this hottie. Samantha gets ready for her date, and Chloe gifts her a dress that is perfect for the occasion. (It is also the dress her dead mother wore.)
On the date, Samantha tells Scott that the cafe is going to need to be relocated because they are selling the building to put up condos. (Is this a Hallmark Christmas Movies?) Scott is a lawyer and offers to help small businesses. Later, he gets her a five-year extension. I’d say that is a successful date.
A pool party happens. Blake and Chloe are popular now and have leveled up. They have their eyes on cute jocks, Travis and Shane. Jack is a loser, and everyone makes fun of him. Chloe throws him in the pool, and he almost drowns because he can’t swim. Jack accuses Chloe of trying to kill him, and he storms off after Blake breaks up with him. (Well, before he goes, he hacks Chloe’s computer and steals information from her hard drive.)
On his computer, Jack learns that Chloe is lying about who she is. He finds her birth record, and it says she has been dead for five years. He tells his mom that Chloe is a fraud and hides the file within another folder. Chloe sees the text come in and pretends to be Blake. She has him meet her in the backyard and drowns him in the pool for real this time. Then she sends a suicide text to Blake for her to see in the morning.
The next morning Samantha sees the body in the pool and attempts to rescue him. It is obviously too late. Blake and Samantha mourn Jack’s death and go to the memorial. Chloe, on the other hand, continues as usual. Jack’s mother slaps the shit out of Chloe because she knows the British woman is up to no good.
Detectives think so too, Cynthia Watros (Guiding Light) plays Detective Hardy. (I like her she should do more Lifetime movies.) She interrogates Chloe and is suspicious of her answers. Then Detective Hardy shows Blake the text exchange, proving that Blake was the last person to see Jack alive. Blake tries to explain, but she looks very guilty.
Chloe overhears Blake and Samantha talking about her. They feel that with all the stress, it might not be the best time to host a foreign exchange student. To make them feel guilty, Chloe sends an email from “her mother” that her birthday is coming up. It is a lie; her mother was murdered in front of her by the man at the beginning of the movie.
A birthday party happens for Chloe. She makes a speech, and thanks to everyone for coming. She also is careful to mention that Samantha and Scott are getting too close. To sabotage the relationship, she takes off her panties and puts them in his coat pocket. Then she takes a selfie with him. Later, she confessed to Samantha that Scott has sexually harassed her. Samantha confronts Scott, and he is horrified. He claims his innocence, but the evidence proves otherwise. (This whole thing is a bit problematic.)
Blake and Samantha decide that Chloe needs to move out. Samantha sends an email and hears the notification go to Chloe’s laptop. She knows something is going on. Samantha visits Jack’s mother, and they discover that Jack hid in the computer file. Next, she attends school and learns Blake has been absent for the first three periods.
Frantic, Samantha calls the exchange student agency and learns that Chloe isn’t in their system. The whole exchange program agency was fraudulent. Samantha calls Scott first to apologize; THEN, she calls Detective Hardy. (Who is no help.)
Chloe chloroforms and kidnaps Blake and takes her up to the cabin. Chloe pretends to be southern to get access to the cabin and sound straight out of Gone with the Wind. While Chloe is distracted, Blake makes a run for it through the woods. Chloe chases her, and they fight in the woods. Chloe sends a suicide text from Blake to Samantha.
Samantha finds them and tells Chloe the police know she is Rose and that she wanted to murder across the pond. Chloe does her villain monologue, and it is particularly effective in a British accent! Samantha soothes Chloe and plays the mother role so she can get close and Chloroform her to shut her up.
Eight months later, Blake graduates from high school and has a party. At the party, Scott proposes to Samantha, and she says yes! They all hug.
Cut to jail where Chloe is. She fixates on the therapist as another mother figure. Go figure! Okay, goodbye.
Minority Report: Bella, cop, party goers.
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*Photo Credit: © 2017 Lifetime