Recipe for Danger (2019 Lifetime)
Stars: Sarah Lind, Bree Williamson, Adam Hurtig
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
When Vanessa gets a friend request from a stranger named Taryn, without thinking twice, she decides to accept. Taryn looks nice enough anyway, if not a little familiar. But as it turns out, that seemingly innocuous decision would prove to be the worst of Vanessa’s life. By accepting Taryn’s request, Vanessa gave her access to some of her most personal information including pictures of her loving husband Mark, her adopted daughter Lacy, and their whereabouts… which is exactly the kind of information that Taryn, Lacy’s deranged biological mother, is looking for. After Vanessa posts a picture of a very excited Lacy outside of St. Mary’s Grade School on her first day of kindergarten, that’s all the information that Taryn needs to abduct Lacy, and give Vanessa the scare of her life.
At an adoption agency, a woman is leaving her office talking about a closed adoption case. As she walks through the parking lot, she drops her keys and is bludgeoned to death with a tire iron. The attacker takes the file from her cold dead hands.
Next, we see a little girl named Little Bird, attempting to ride a bike with no training wheels. Vanessa and her husband, Mark, make grilled cheese to celebrate! Little Bird was adopted, and the family is very happy together. Vanessa is opening a restaurant, hence the title of the movie. She also loves social media and posts pictures of her and her family. Vanessa accepts a friend request from Tanya Jones because every follower is a potential customer or… stalker/killer!
The attacker is a woman and probably Taryn Jones. She attacks Ricardo, Vanessa’s co-worker, in an alley. With Ricardo out of commission, Vanessa is distraught… not about her friend, but who is going to help open the restaurant. She immediately starts interviews and has trouble finding someone’s quality. A millennial helps Vanessa set up a job search online… pretty sure Vanessa is a millennial too, so WTF.
Vanessa hires Taryn because she is a single mother, plays tennis, oh, and she can cook. They become fast friends and get along great. Taryn goes home to her daughter, Patric, who isn’t real. (of course.) Patric, in Taryn’s imagination, is Little Bird. Pretty sure, Taryn is Little Bird’s biological mother, and the movie thinks it is a BIG mystery.
Taryn comes over and bonds with Little Bird, she gives her a secret gift. After dinner, Taryn leaves and watches Mark and Vanessa through the window. She goes home and kills her parole officer? Vanessa and Mark love Taryn’s bond with their daughter and are happy to have a new potential babysitter.
Taryn gets confronted by one of her cellmates from prison who recognizes her. She calls Taryn “Tina” and gets in her face. Chelsea (Vanessa’s bestie.) witnesses the whole thing and has a bad feeling about Taryn. She is going to investigate. When she brings it up to Vanessa, Vanessa brushes it off and tells Chelsea that she wouldn’t understand because she doesn’t have kids.
The restaurant opens, and a big shot food critic shows up a day early. (Taryn set it up, to throw Vanessa off her game.) Vanessa pulls it together, and they think they are going to get a five-star review.
Taryn does a bunch of little things to ruin Vanessa’s life. They are all really stupid and poorly conveyed in the movie. Basically, Taryn wins over Little Bird by being there for her when Vanessa is not due to various sabotages. She also makes Vanessa thinks her husband is trying to seduce her. Taryn also kidnaps Little Bird. Vanessa is freaking out, and the police gaslight her.
With Little Bird missing and the cops not caring. Vanessa and Chelsea go to the adoption agency and learn who Taryn really is, TINA!!!! They are upset that Tina played them, and they seem less worried about her violent history. Vanessa goes to talk to Taryn/Tina’s cellmate. She learns that Taryn/Tina lives in the woods near a restaurant named Winkies or something with apple pie. Chelsea goes on her own to look into it. (Big mistake!)
Taryn/Tina tells Little Bird that she is her “real mommy” and Little Bird is freaking out. What she thought was a fun getaway is not what she expected. Taryn/Tina locks her in a room until she will call her mommy and answer to Patrice. (Which is an upgrade of a name from Little Bird.)
Taryn attacks Mark at the restaurant and locks him in the freezer. He is in hospital and needs rest. Vanessa is mad at herself but finds a matchbox with the restaurant name, Willy’s. Chelsea finds Taryn and is in the middle of texting Vanessa when Taryn hits her with a brick and sends a text to Vanessa to get her off her trailer. Chelsea wakes up to find her phone smashed but goes to get help.
Little Bird tries a new tactic and kills Taryn with kindness. She wins over Taryn by pretending to be the perfect daughter and even calls her mommy. While making cookies, Little Bird distracts Taryn long enough to make a run for it. She runs into a field in the middle of nowhere and is caught by Taryn.
Vanessa finds Little Bird and tries to sneak her out the window. Taryn and Vanessa talk, and basically, Taryn thinks that Vanessa stole her daughter. Vanessa tells Taryn that she understands. Feeling vulnerable, Taryn admits to killing everyone in Vanessa’s life. She was doing what a mother had to do, and Vanessa says she understands. Taryn tells Vanessa to leave them alone and never come back.
Little bird won’t have anyone it and bites Taryn. She runs off while the mom’s struggle, Vanessa shoots Taryn while the police show up and finally care about Tina/Taryn. Mark is out of the hospital and has crutches. The family is back together, but honestly who cares this movie was so stupid.
The living members of the movie take a selfie in front of the restaurant. Vanessa has learned her lesson and DOESN’T post the selfie on social media……………..
Minority Report: Ricardo, Vanessa’s co-worker.
Also known as Fatal Friend Request
This movie has so many failed attempts at jump scares. So many.
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*Photo Credit: © 2019 Lifetime