Instakiller (2018 Lifetime)
Synopsis (via Lifetime)
When Layla’s teen daughter Harper becomes internet famous overnight, Layla is worried about the amount of online attention Harper’s suddenly receiving–a fear that proves justified when they realize Harper has a stalker. Now it’s up to Layla to save her daughter from a psychopath who’ll do anything to be with her–and kill anyone who gets in his way.
Layla is an art history professor. She shows slides of paintings and statues to her class while repeating the word “obsession: like a Clavin Kline ad. She also works at a cafe with her handsome husband, Derek.
Speaking of obsession, someone is stalking Layla’s daughter Harper and her friend Monica. The stalker takes pictures of them walking down the street. When a good samaritan approaches the stalker, they argue, and the good samaritan gets knocks out.
Harper is in fashion school and on her way to becoming a social media influencer. She gets 1000’s of followers after ending up on the “pussy list.” (Which is a good thing?) Harper and Monica are home alone and start getting strange messages on not-Instagram. The stalker is out of the house, taking pictures and being questioned by a neighborhood watch officer on a power trip. The officer gets murdered with some jumper cables.
At the coffee shop, Harper gets scary letters and a teddy bear from the stalker. She asks her hunky co-worker Joey (Darren Barnet) to tie her apron while she worries. Could he be the stalker? That man could stalk me any day. There is another dorky guy named Russ, who flirts with Harper. She isn’t interested and rejected him when they were freshmen. Harper wants to date a guy named Chad. (Of course!) Monica tells her friend that they need to tell someone, but Harper refuses. Monica goes against her friend’s wishes and talks to Layla. With the murder and now a stalker, Layla and Derek make Harper close her social media accounts.
In a teary goodbye message, Harper explains why she is deleting her account. Fans from all overwatch and are sad, but the stalker is ANGRY and bangs their fists on the table.
Shutting down the account doesn’t stop the stalker. Layla’s car is vandalized. This prompts her to do some searching. She gives facts. 85% of stalkers know their victims. They find strength in animality. The stalker reactivates Harper’s Not-Instagram account and posts a picture with the words “Bitch” over Laylay’s face. Layla and Derek slide into the stalkers DM and get blocked.
While walking home from school, Harper is almost abducted, but she sprays her attacker with mase. Detectives are called and are now on the case. Layla and Derek talk about moving to Portland with Derek’s sister Karen while this whole thing blows over. It is the most logical plan anyone has come up with within a Lifetime movie. Harper freaks out and tells her parents that they are ruining her life.
At the cafe, Russ and Monica side with Harper when they hear her parents plan. Joey tells her that with him in the cafe, she is safe.
You know who isn’t safe, Layla. She gets beat with a golf club on campus and is saved by Russ. Then later, she gets threatening messages in class. She recruits her tech friend Paige to track the location of the sender. The texts are coming from the coffee shop. Layla calls Derek and tells him the stalker is in the coffee shop and RUSS’S PHONE RINGS!!!! Derek tries to stall Russ until the police arrive. Russ cries that it isn’t his phone as he is taken into custody.
To celebrate, Derek and Layla throw a party at the cafe. They all have champagne and dance. Joey and Harper are getting closer. Apparently, Harper had a heart transplant. It is dropped so casually that I had to rewind.
Harper finally goes on a successful date with Chad, and he is as adorable as you would hope. (Played by Jared Scott, who is way more charismatic (and sadly more clothed) here than he was in The Wrong Friend. Chad even scores an on the doorstep kiss. It is cute until Chad gets attacked by the stalker. Layla finds him and calls an ambulance. They realize that the stalker is still out there.
Harper and her parents realize that it is Joey after reviewing some security footage. She is at the cafe with Joey, who hears the whole conversation. He attacks Derek and kidnaps Harper. Layla finds her husband and calls the police. Then, Layla, has Paige track Harper’s phone, and she trails them.
Joey hears the phone ringing and destroys it. He then drags Harper into the woods. The switch this actor flips from charming or psycho is impressive. He screams at Harper because she never noticed him even when he was there for her heart surgery. Her instafame made him jealous and worried she would leave him. He chokes Harper but is stopped by Layla with a golf club. The mother and daughter embrace as Joey is taken away by the detective.
Harper’s parents let her open her Instapics account with some precautions. They also plan a fashion show for their daughter. Which we see a preview of as Layla struts around the living room in one of Harper’s designs. Then the family dances randomly. The end.
Minority Report: Monica, Joey, some Instapics fans, Detective Canavan, Carol
Reel One Entertainment flick.
🔪🔪🔪🔪 (4 Knives)
🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required.)
*Photo Credit: © 2018 Lifetime