Twisted Son (2019 Lifetime)
Synopsis (via Lifetime)
It has been a year since Paige and Nathan tragically lost their teenage son Zach. Nathan and daughter Addie have slowly been putting their lives back together. Paige, however, remains consumed by grief and withdrawn, and is unable to work. In order to supplement Paige’s lost income, the family decides to rent out their spare bedroom. Surprisingly, life starts to look up for Paige once their new tenant Brandon Wilson enters the picture. A student at the local university, Brandon eerily resembles everything that Zach stood for in the family and brings Paige out of her shell. At first, Nathan and Addie are thrilled to see Paige acting more like her old self, but they soon see a darker and more dangerous side of Brandon. Can a family in crisis hold themselves together in the face of an evil genius?
A blonde white woman is running through the woods, she finds a grave and starts digging. She screams out for Zach and pushes away a ton of pills. It is a nightmare that Paige is having, her husband Nathan tells her she needs sleeping pills. (Which is kind of rude, considering her dream.) She doesn’t want the dreams to end because it is the only time she sees her dead son… in her nightmares. He died a year ago of an apparent drug overdose?
Paige and Nathan have a daughter named Addie, who she plays soccer and likes cocoa puffs? To make ends meet, because Paige can’t go back to work due to PTSD, they decide to rent out a room for college students. They find a tenant quickly, he actually takes the whole listing down so he can be the only applicant. His name is Brandon, and he is VERY Canadian. Paige is reluctant, at first, because she only wanted to rent to a female tenet. (You know with a teenage daughter and all.)
Brandon moves in and is a creepy dude. His major is the same as Zach’s was before he died. He tries to not be a bother to the family and keep to himself. They insist that he eat dinner with them (which he does) and then he offers to make them dinner next time. At college, Brandon lies and tells people that Paige, Nathan, and Addie ARE his family. He also turns down advances from a chipper coed.
The family really opens up to Brandon. Nathan bonds with Brandon over fixing cars and beers. While Paige learns that Brandon was orphaned when he was just eight years old. (His parents died in a car crash. ALLEGEDLY!) He grew up in foster care. Brandon makes them dinner (but first he checks their food allergies, Nathan is allergic to Bees, so they are all good. No bees in this Thai meal.) and then they play Pictionary.
All this family bonding is good for everyone, except Addie, who thinks it is weird for a college man to be spending so much time with a family. Brandon is determined to win her offer and gives Addie a ride to school. She is listening to her headphones, but he asks her to play it on his car stereo and says the song is “sick” then he tells Addie he will sneak her into a college party. He is really trying to lay on the charm, but it isn’t working.
On-campus, an old classmate, recognizes Brandon, but not as Brandon… as Chris. Brandon denies knowing him and shoves the student. Later, at Clovers Bar, the student is walking to his car and drops his keys. Brandon opens the driver’s side door and tases the student. Then he locks him in the trunk and sets the car on fire. It explodes in a blaze of glory.
Brandon looks around the house and tries to emulate Zack. He even starts wearing his hair differently and takes up Ethan’s hobbies. Brandon convinces Paige to do a puzzle that Zack was working on, and Addie and Nathan are shocked and betrayed. Nathan tells Zack he has overstepped.
Addie and her friend do some light social media stalking on Brandon’s page and accidentally like a post of his. He knows that they are looking into him. Later at a BBQ, they are watching him playing with a little girl. He almost lets her drowned in the pool but saves her when people see the kid in the poo. The girls accuse him of doing it on purpose and then go snooping through his room. They find a birthday card for his 8th birthday… but it was printed in 2012. She then finds Brandon is Eric’s room and freaks out on him.
Since Addie is not getting anywhere with her mother, she appeals to her dad. Nathan finds an apartment for Brandon, and Paige is more worried about Brandon’s wellbeing than her own family. Addie and Nathan want Paige to move on and let Brandon move out. Brandon checks out the apartment but sets off the sprinkler system making the apartment unavailable for two months. Nathan stays up late to talk to Brandon alone. He tells Brandon that it is time for him to move on and find a new place by the end of the week.
Brandon will not take this lying down, and he rounds up some bees and puts them in Nathan’s car. Paige talks to Brandon and notices some blotches on his neck and hand, he dismisses them as “bug bites.” Nathan drives his car and starts getting stung by bees. Nathan is a badass and grabs his EpiPen from the glove box, stabs his leg, and then flips his car.
Addie does a reverse image search and finds out that Brandon lied about who he is. His name is Chris, and his family died in a fire… have I mentioned he has been playing with a lighter this whole movie?
Nathan is in the hospital and in bad shape. Paige is starting to piece things together but can’t get a hold of Addie. That is because Addie is at home with Brandon. He has her doused in gasoline and is holding a lighter over her. Paige comes home and finds a disturbing scene. Paige asks why. Brandon tells them that he has been doing anything to be a part of the family. He admits to killing his family and to knowing Zack. He was jealous of Zack and killed him to take over his life. Paige tries to calm Brandon down and tells him that she understands. She hugs him long enough for Addie to getaway. They both fight Brandon, but as he is about to light Addie on fire, Paige throws lighter fluid on Brandon, and he burns alive.
The next day Addie eats more cereal, Paige, and Nathan high five, and the movie ends abruptly
Alternate Title: Thicker Than Water
Minority Report: No POC’s in this movie.
The guy who plays Brandon was on Degrassi if that matters to anyone! He was good, but this movie was boring.
🔪 (1 Knife)
🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷 (5 glasses of wine required)
*Photo Credit: © 2019 Lifetime