Secrets in a Small Town (2019 Lifetime)
Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Inspired by a true story. After her husband’s death, single mother Claire moves to a small town, so she and her daughter Sarah can have a fresh start. But when Sarah suddenly goes missing after basketball tryouts, Claire’s life is thrown into a tailspin. Though the police are determined that her search is futile, Claire knows that her daughter is in danger. And someone else knows it too–it seems there are members of Claire’s new community willing to go to dangerous lengths to stop her from learning the truth, including the team’s coach. Claire will need to uncover the town’s darkest secrets if she ever hopes to see her daughter again.
We start off in the woods with a woman crying and screaming for “Sarah” the title credits roll as the woman screams again.
Cut to the woman, whose name is Claire and her teenage daughter… Sarah. They have moved to a small town from Chicago and are heading to school for their first day. Sarah is a student, obviously, and Claire is the new vice principal. Sarah is, apparently, really good at basketball and get recruited to play for the team. The coach tells Sarah that they all have each others backs and the girls on the team even invite Sarah to a team bonding event after practice. Claire is being a “helicopter mom” because she is essentially worried about her daughter going to a party where boys and alcohol might be.
Claire stays up late eating ice cream and calls her daughter before going to bed. Sarah doesn’t answer but Claire leaves a voicemail. The next morning Claire is surprised to see Sarah’s bed empty. She goes to school and is even more surprised to see Sarah is not in her first period class. Claire finds the basketball team players and ask them if they knew where she is. They say she probably skipped school or something, no big deal!
It is a big deal though. Claire calls everyone she knows while driving around town and looking everywhere for her. She then goes to the police. Thankfully, a hot cop is there to help her. The sheriff on the other hand is very small town mentality and not too concerned. When the hot cop suggest bringing in the team for questioning, the sheriff is more concerned with his niece getting into college. He reluctantly agrees to interview the girls on the team.
During the interviews, the girls throw Sarah under the bus and say she was wasted and drinking vodka. They say she went outside for air and she just disappeared at 10:45pm. They all have the same story, which would raise some flags for me. Claire also thinks that it is very out of character. The sheriff says that Sarah probably just ran away and will be back soon.
Taking matters into her own hands, Claire flyers the town and asks everyone she can if they have seen her daughter. The town isn’t so receptive or sympathetic and even go as far as spray painting “Witch Hunt” on Claire’s garage door.
The police find Sarah’s show in the woods and then organize a search party. Helicopters and the whole town (including the basketball team) comb the woods looking for Sarah. The basketball coach goes deep into the woods and finds a shack. The shack has Sarah inside, she is beaten and confused. The coach says she is going to get help but leaves the shack and see her daughter the team captain. Apparently the team captain thought she killed Sarah but did a bad job, so now they are going to lock Sarah in the shack and leave her to die….?!?!? WTF. (The coach will do whatever it takes to save her daughter from getting in trouble.)
The search continues. They go the total opposite direction then the shack and head down river. (At the suggestion of the coach.) By the river they find Sarah’s cell phone and call for divers to look in the river. Claire is distraught at the thought of her daughter drowning and we are back to where we saw at the beginning of the movie. Claire screaming “Sarah.”
Claire lays in Sarah’s bed and sings to Sarah. Sarah lays on the floor of the shack and sings the song too. The shots intercut showing the mother and daughter singing the same song.
Clare goes to the coach and asks her point plant if she knows what happened to Sarah. The coach tells a story about serving in Iraq and how it made her a survivor. The coach tells Claire to drop it and stop looking into the basketball team.
Claire does the opposite and finds an article online about a senior from the basketball team who committed suicide. She quits her job to focus on finding her daughter. The basketball team won’t let it go and they slash her tires and harass her at her home. The poor woman just wants to find her daughter! She finds a hazing video of the girls forcing Sarah to chug, while the coach watches on…
The team captain admits everything to Claire. The hazing, the drinking, taking Sarah to the woods, everything. Including that Sarah is alive and locked in a shack. Claire rushed off to save her daughter as the coach comes home. The coach yells at her daughter for telling Claire the truth and then she slaps her daughter. The coach grabs a gun, shovel, and a tarp and goes to fix her daughters mistakes.
Claire and the police rush to find the shack. (Via helicopter.) and I think Claire and hot cop may be catching feelings for one another.
They find Coach burying Sarah alive in the woods. Claire pushes coach out of the way and Coach pulls a gun on Claire. Hot Cop gets out his gun. Claire actually saves the day by pulling a tarp and causing Coach to fall and hit her head on a rock. (Killing her?)
The daughter/team captain is arrested along with her teammates. Sarah and Claire ride to the hospital in a helicopter, because she is a helicopter mom…. THAT IS THE LAST LINE OF THE MOVIE?!?! Hahahahaha.
Though this movie was “based on true events”. I couldn’t find any true story that resembled this movie.
Minority Report: Rick Watchorn (Hot cop)
Kate Drummond did a nice job in this movie.
Originally premiered in March at Canadian Film Fest, under the title Nowhere
🔪🔪🔪🔪 (4 Knifes)
🍷🍷 (2 glasses of wine required)
*Photo Credit: © 2019 Lifetime