The Killer Downstairs (2019 Lifetime)
Synopsis (via Lifetime)
A woman finds herself in a fight for her life when the man she rents her basement suite to becomes obsessed with her and begins threatening the lives of the people around her.
The movie starts off with someone burying a suitcase?
Alison is renting out the basement of her parent’s house. (her dad died, and mom wanted a change) She uses a website called mi casa, su casa website. Allison is a lawyer but is working at an outlet store? Her BFF Sarah works with her. She warns her about Brandon (Played by Ben Wilkinson, my fav knock off Antonio Sabato Jr), who works at the outlet store. He hits on all the new hires. So do the male customers. (Apparently, all the guys in this town are creeps.)
James, another potentially creepy guy, arrives and will be renting the basement apartment. He has a misleading profile; it is with his wife and kid… but they separated. Alison lets him move in, even though he is a liar and maybe a killer. She shows him around and notes the door that leads to her kitchen upstairs. Alison goes upstairs, and James takes off his shirt. It is to show us scary scars on his back, but all I see is abs and sex appeal.
The next morning, Alison comes downstairs to James cooking in the kitchen in a tank top. She isn’t weirded out about this at all. He talks about his ex-wife and that they are still civil to one another. Alison heads off to work and gets propositioned by her boss, Brandon. They are going to go out, and he is going to pay her $150 to talk about “legal” things.
Alison runs into an old coworker/classmate, Michael. He chats her up as Brandon watches on. Michael gives Alison his business card and tells her that some spots are opening at his firm. He can get Allison a job, so she can get away from her creepy boss. Also, at work, Alison tells Sarah about James making breakfast. Sarah tells her to set some boundaries.
Back at the house, Alison does just that and tells James to not use her kitchen. He then pushes pass her to show her that he fixed her sink AND fixed her dinner. Alison goes back on what she says and tells James to eat dinner in her kitchen. She has to go on her romantic date meeting with Brandon.
At dinner, Brandon offers Alison the position of assistant manager while caressing her arm. Alison asks him about Sarah, who should be getting the job, and tells him that he is harassing her. She storms off to her car, and Brandon chases her slamming her car door shut. Thankfully, James is there and stops things from going further. Don’t worry, he wasn’t following Alison. He out getting Chinese for dinner… after making her dinner? Okay, maybe you should worry. Sarah and Alison talk about going to HR about Brandon while James listens while lurking on the stairs. AGAIN, Alison goes back on what she says and apologizes to Brandon for overreacting.
Back at home, James is going some like gardening but get too hot and has to take off his shirt. (Marcus Rosner’s abs are the star of this movie IMO.) Alison appreciates them also or his “gardening.”
Alison gets an interview with Michael (the lawyer guy) she tells James about it, and he is curious if it is a date. He is also curious about Brandon and goes through Alison’s phone to get his number. In her interview, Michael seems like he wants to ask Alison out but keeps it pretty professional.
Brandon, on the other hand, gets burned alive in a trash bin by James, and then he frames it on a homeless guy. One of the more brutal killings I’ve seen on Lifetime.
Alison comes back from her meeting with Michael, and surprisingly James is already home. They drink wine and talk about a past relationship, including how they haven’t had sex in years. Then they kiss?!?! Alison immediately apologizes, and James tells her it is okay, and everything is totally cool. (This is not cool is a hiker’s body found in a suitcase buried in the woods.)
Detectives show up at work and ask Alison about Brandon and her having a sexual relationship. Brandon’s phone has messages from “Alison,” but someone is setting her up to look like she is in a relationship with him. Alison thinks Michael might have something to do with this because he saw the boss looking at her and had a crush on her in school. They tell her that they will look into it, oh and that Brandon was murdered.
Sarah comes over to comfort Allison, James is there too. They warn Alison about Michael and tell her not to go to the interview at the firm that he set up. Sarah even offers to sleepover to protect Alison. (She promises to rip the guys face off.)
Late at night, it is dark and stormy, the girls creep around the house. Sarah mentions that James is giving her creepy vibes, and he seemed jealous that Sarah was staying over. She isn’t wrong because James is watching/listening via plants he hid cameras in around the house. Alison adds a lock to the kitchen/basement door, but it seems that the coast is clear because detectives say they solved the case! It was the homeless man who knows why! Alison is a real dumb dumb. She gives James the new key.
Alison goes to her interview. Instead of talking about her qualifications, she tells the interviewer about an affair with a co-worker. Which is why she left her job. The interviewer is impressed? In the parking lot, Michael says he is sorry about Brandon, and Alison apologizes for implicating him. They are friends again, no harm, no foul. (Oh, except for James, who kidnaps Michael in broad daylight in the middle of the parking lot.)
James is digging a grave in the woods for Michael, but Michael comes to and knocks James down. They struggle, and Michael asks why James is doing this. James says he wants Alison and a family the same things that Michael wants, but he wants it more. They struggle more, and we presume that James wins. James comes home and is pretty banged up, Alison patches him up. (He claims that he fell running in the woods.) They have a nice dinner together, except for the fact that James said something about Brandon dying in a fire despite that information not being released to the public.
Sarah, Alison, and James have a celebratory dinner for Allison’s job offer from the law firm. (They also wonder if she has seen Michael….) At the dinner, Sarah interrogates James, and in return, James roofies Sarah. Alison apologizes to James for Sarah being inappropriate and sends her away in a rideshare. (They practically drag her to the cab.) James buys Alison an “A” necklace, and they kiss passionately, oh sorry, they totally do it…
James can’t keep Sarah down though, she texts Alison a stock photo that she finds. James cropped his face over the man in the picture. James deletes the text and then goes over to Sarah’s house. The next morning Alison wakes up and finds distressed texts from Sarah about someone breaking into her home. Alison calls the cops who tell her that Sarah was texting Michael.
Alison heads back home and to the basement, where she finds his computer and surveillance cameras. She calls a number and the woman on the other end tells Allison to call the police because she is in danger. Alison also finds Sarah ties up and duct-taped. James admits to being a little crazy and faking everything.
To get away, Alison hits James over the head with a flower vase and kicks him down the stairs. She tries to make her escape, but the doors are locked. He chases her, and she nails him in the face with a teapot, haha. Alison can’t get away, and James slowly strangles her to death?
In the backyard garden, James is digging another grave as Alison comes to. She is tied up now. James talks to her as he digs. He tells her that he wishes things could be different. Alison tells him that she doesn’t care that he as been bad and kisses him. Then she bites his tongue and knocks him out with a shovel.
The police show up and realize that James has been responsible for seven other murders. They are pretty much the worst. They should really get new jobs. Speaking of new jobs, Sarah and Alison both work for a new law firm. They decided to go get Mexican for lunch. Allison’s last line? “Si Por Favor!” Then the movie abruptly ends.
I like that the title of the movie delivered on the premise.
Minority Report: Sarah & Michael
Acting was solid in this one, they story was in the title, so you just have to go along with the ride.
🔪🔪🔪🔪 (4 Knives)
🍷🍷 (2 glasses of wine required)
*Photo Credit: © 2019 Lifetime