The Killer Next Door (2019 Lifetime)
Stars: Andrea Bogart, Hannah Barefoot, John-Michael Carlton
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
After Julie’s husband dies in a car crash, she moves across the country to start fresh with her son Matty and build a closer relationship with her late husband’s twin sister, Alison. Little does she know, Alison blames Julie for her brother’s death and wants her nephew Matty, a spitting image of her dead twin brother, all to herself.
Julie and her husband are driving to the hospital. She is in labor and he is really excited to be a dad. They get into a car accident and the husband is pronounced dead on the scene. Julie pulls through and so does the baby. Julie is devastated by the news that her husband is dead and she moves across the country to get away from everything. (Like 6 years later, but we don’t get a chyron.
After a while Julie and Matty move Into their new neighborhood it is VERY upper class suburban and white. There is a neighborhood watch and her sister in law (Alison) and mom live nearby. There is even a neighborhood watch and an app called “Hello Neighbor”. The neighborhood may not be as safe as it appears, a girl is strangled in her car outside of a fitness center and there is a nanny cam set up in her new house.
Julie gets a job at… they fitness center. She is a physical therapist and meets her new boss Dr. Pearson and a handsome man named Blake. Julie hires a nanny to help with Matty while she is at work. Her name is Marisol and seems pretty normal. She is pretty and studying for her LSATS. (I like her, and so does Matty.)
At work Blake asks Julie out. She is hesitant and he tells her he will keep asking until she gives into him.
Late at night a hooded person is loitering in Julie’s yard looking at the nanny cam footage of Julie with Matty. The neighborhood watch guy shows up on his bike and is bludgeoned with a tire iron. Then the hooded person breaks into Julie house, she calls the police. When the police show up they are patronizing and interested. The intruder too a little money and a bunny stuffed animal… the one with the nanny cam inside of it.
Julie’s mom loves to Facetime her daughter and is surprised to hear about the break in and the new boyfriend. Julie then posts to the neighborhood app about the intruder and the neighbors blame Julie for not having enough security on her property.
Blake finally wears Julie down and they go out for pizza with Julie’s nanny and son. (who sit at another table.) They talk about both being widowed and share their memories of their loved ones. They toast to being “survivors” while someone takes a picture of Julie with a beer.
The neighbors are still going after Julie, mostly for petty things like not bringing the trash bins in fast enough.
Matty goes missing and Julie calls the police. It is the same jerk cop, who is not helpful. Julie resorts to the Hello, Neighbor app. The neighbors canvas the neighborhood and try to find Matty. They have been looking for hours and the sister in law pulls up with Matty. She took Matty to the amusement park. Julie got the date wrong, according to Alison. The neighbors on the app tear Julie to pieces for being so dramatic and wasting their time. They even post “drunk pics” of Julie from her date and call her a terrible mother.
Allison feels terrible about the mix up and offers to babysit Matty, so Julie can go out on another date with Blake. Allison also takes Matty for ice cream so Mirasol can study. She is the best?
Julie takes Matty to the park and is busy texting Blake instead of paying attention to her son. (If you asked her neighbors, who hate her.) When they get home from their day of fun they are surprised to see neighbors crowded around their house because loud music is blasting from her house. Apparently a flyer went around town saying that there is a party at Julie’s house.
The hooded person crosses off a list similar to Lizzy Caplan in Mean Girls.
Marisol points out that someone is trying to make Julie look like an unfit mother. She promises to have her tech friend looking into the usernames of the mean posters on the app and figure out who they really are. Julie tells everything to Allison, who is nervous about pissing off the neighbors anymore more than they already have.
Marisol is starting to get annoyed with Alison showing up and taking Matty while she is supposed to be watching him. She tells Allison that it is going to have to stop and she will tell Julie. While walking home, Marisol calls her friend and tracks the IP address of the nast commenter. It is Allison. Allison kills Marisol before she can tell everyone, she is the hooded person! She also has a shrine to Matthew (her brother/Julie’s husband.) in her house.
The next night, someone throws a rock through Julie’s window. The jerk police isn’t concerned, so Julie calls Allison to come over and keep her company. Julie however is starting to realize the company she was hoping for is kind of weirding her out. Especially when Alison lays in bed with Matty and tells him to call her mommy.
The hooded figure goes after Blake in a parking lot. She basically pulls a Tonya Harding and hits him in the knee. Thus canceling their family trip to the cabin that he was planning. Julie drops Matty off with Alison so she can go to the hospital to be with Blake while he gets emergency surgery on his knee. Blake comes out of surgery and is in a full cast. Julie tells him what happened and tells him that he is going to be okay.
Alison and Matty go camping in the backyard, Julie wants to take Matty home but Alison says she already promised him they would go camping. Julie stays over and has a nightmare of all the over eager things Alison has said about Matty in the past. Julie texts Marisol and hears a text come in. Marisol’s phone is in the nightstand. Julie knows something is wrong now, but pretends that everything is fine. (or tries her best.) The final straw is that Alison plays the part of the tooth fairy when Matty loses his first tooth. Julie tells Allison that they are going to take a break.
Julie asks Blake to join the Hello, Neighbor app and she sets up a online trap to get Allison. Her plans get sidetracked when the jerk police officer tells her that Marisol’s body has been found with her phone one it. Julie then find the nanny cam in the bear in Matty’s room.
Julie is still working her plan, which I haven’t figured out, and tells her boss to fire her to tell anyone who asks that he fired her. Julie calls Allison and asks her to come over. Julie tells Allison that things have gotten so bad that she is moving to get away from all the crazy things. Allison takes the online bait and agrees to meet with a custody lawyer, who is really Blake and Julie.
Allison is waiting for the lawyer to show up and is annoyed to see Julie. She tries to get Julie out of the house. Julie confesses that the lawyer is her and she knows what Allison is up to. Allison pulls a gun on Julie and tells her that she blames her for Matthew’s death. (Apparently, Allison and Matthew were twins… this would have been good to know earlier in the movie.) Allison thinks that Matty is Matthew reincarnated and then she asks Julie if she is crazy. (Which she is!) Alison cuts her arm with a piece of glass to make it look like Julie attacked her. Allison admits to killing the fitness center worker and Marisol. She also framed Julie for both murders and says the court of public opinion and no one will believe her.
Julie was recording the whole thing with a nanny cam and the police haul Allison away while she screams that Matty loves her and she is his mommy. The jerk police officer apologizes to Julie, but seriously fuck that guy.
Julie stays in the neighborhood and is dating Blake. Her mom has moved to the neighborhood too. They all eat brownies and the movie ends.
Previously titled: Kill Thy Neighbor .
Minority Report: There was a few POC neighbors. Non with any character development and very few lines. Marisol was CLEARLY written as a LatinX Character. I’m love it if they casted the role that way.
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*Photo Credit: © 2019 Lifetime