Am I a Serial Killer? (2019 Lifetime)
Cast: Monroe Cline, Jhey Castles, Crystal Allen
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
A teenage girl visits her mom on death row and gets lured into a dangerous trap to take the fall for her mother’s crimes.
The movie starts off with a little girl named Natalie. She hides in her closet (a la, Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween.) Before the person can get her, adult Natalie wakes up in the middle of the road. We learn (via news segment) that Annie Weaver killed a suburban couple while she was renting a room in their house. She is known to the press as “Weaver the Cleaver” and is Natalie’s mom. Natalie testified against her mother and put her on death row.
Natalie lives with her aunt, Caroline. She confesses that she hasn’t been sleeping well and is worried that SHE MIGHT BE A SERIAL KILLER!!!! (Even though she hasn’t killed anyone, that we know of.) Natalie gets bullied at school by the blond jocks. Jeff (hot nerd guy who likes Natalie.) tries to defend Natalie, but she doesn’t need protecting and punches the jock in the face.
After getting suspended, Natalie talks to her therapist. He tells her that her sleep issues could be from a stressor event. Then he recommends that Natalie go visit her mother and say goodbye, for closure. Natalie looks up online, how to visit an inmate.
We jump to prison where Weaver the Cleaver is being held. She is surprised to see her daughter visiting her. Natalie cuts to the chase and asks her mother why she killed the couple. Weaver the Cleaver tells her daughter that she was just trying to protector and is happy she doesn’t remember that night. Turns out Weaver, the Cleaver was sending weekly letters that Natalie never got.
Back at home with Caroline, Natalie demands to see the letters. Caroline says she burned the letters and wanted to keep Weaver the Cleaver away from Natalie. Natalie goes back to the therapist, and he tells her to go back to her childhood home. (Is this how therapy works? They just send you to go drudge up your past?)
Next, we see the jock running through the woods. He is overly sweaty and gets murdered with a cleaver. Natalie is sleepwalking and gets picked up by her therapist, who happens to just be driving by. The Therapist drives her home and gives her a free therapy session in the car. He tells her to double her dosage, writes a prescription, and makes an appointment for early in the morning. He also promises not to tell Aunt Caroline. Speaking of Caroline. She apologizes to Natalie for burning the prison letters.
Back at school, Natalie gets taken to the principal’s office and informed of the jock’s (Kent?!) murder. The police captain grills Natalie but eventually lets her go. Natalie goes to visit her mom in prison and tells her that she thinks she may have killed Kent. Weaver the Cleaver tells her daughter to get rid of the evidence and trust no one.
The therapist goes to Aunt Caroline and tells her about Natalie’s sleepwalking. He also tells her that Natalie could be triggered by her mother’s pending execution. Caroline can’t think of Natalie as a murder until she finds bloody clothes in the laundry. The therapist also talks to the police, and they show up with a search warrant. Caroline covers for Natalie and even washes the blood off the clothing
I haven’t mentioned yet, that Natalie is being followed by a hooded figure this whole movie. (Not like a shadow, more like hiding in the bushes.)
Looking for answers, Natalie goes to the old police chief. He tells her that Weaver the Cleaver is bad news, and she should not believe a word of her lies. Flash to young Natalie drawing pictures and telling the old police chief that she is as mad that the couple was leaving. Young Natalie says they were dead to her, and she never wanted to see them again… I think she might be a serial killer.
Natalie gets fired from her job because she was an hour late. (Which seems reasonable to me!) She is furious and knocks things over as she leaves the store. When she gets home, Natalie gets even angrier. She sees Aunt Caroline has installed an alarm system so she can tell when Natalie is sleepwalking. It works, Natalie leaves the house in the middle of the night, and the store owner gets cleavered to death. Aunt Caroline finds Natalie standing outside of her childhood home.
The cops suspect Natalie and question Aunt Caroline. Caroline lies for Natalie again and tells the police that they can talk to her lawyer if they have any questions.
The hooded figure follows Natalie, and it turns out to be Jeff. He is carrying a cleaver in his backpack “for protection.” Natalie tells him that he killed everyone and runs off with his cleaver. Aunt Caroline hears what happened and tells Natalie that she asked him to follow her to keep an eye on her. He couldn’t possibly be the killer! (Ok, Aunt Caroline!)
The new police chief and the old police chief compare notes and realize all the victims have buttons on their eyes when the bodies are found. The new police chief learns that Natalie’s childhood pictures of the couple had buttons on their eyes too?!?! The old investigation is reopened, and Weaver the Cleaver is released from prison.
Natalie goes to do her own investigation and finally makes it into her childhood house. She remembers a bloody cleaver and her mom taking it from her. She is convinced that she IS a serial killer. She tells Aunt Caroline, who doesn’t believe her and tells her that she is wrong about the whole thing.
Weaver, the Cleaver, shows up and tells Aunt Caroline that she will be taking Natalie back. She plans to move away from town, which is the right call. Weaver the Cleaver gives her address to Aunt Caroline so that Natalie can find her when she is ready. Weaver the Cleaver is staying at a Bates Motel type of place. Natalie shows up and tells HER about what she remembered. Weaver the Cleaver says that Natalie did it because of her temper, and is surprised that Natalie stopped taking her pills. Weaver, the Cleaver, soothes Natalie to sleep.
When Natalie awakes, she finds a box of old things in a box. Including love letters to her mom… FROM HER THERAPIST. Natalie snoops around the therapist’s home and unlocks a drawer of files. She finds an ID card with a different name on it and newspaper clippings about her mom. Natalie (and Jeff) follow the therapist in their car, and he leads them to Natalie’s childhood home. (Where Weaver the Cleaver is.)
Inside the house, Natalie finds the therapist and Weaver the Cleaver making out on the floor. They masterminded a copycat killing to get Weaver the Cleaver off and frame Natalie for the murders. Weaver, the Cleaver, was getting revenge. Natalie’s daughter testifying against her and was just using the therapist as a pawn. Weaver, the Cleaver, stabs him and then goes for Natalie next.
Natalie runs upstairs and hides in the same closet that she did when she was younger. Oh, wait… she hides somewhere else, and Weaver the Cleaver stabs at sheets looking for her. Just as she is about to stab Natalie, Aunt Caroline shows up.
In a flashback, we learn that Weaver the Cleaver killed the couple because they paid too much attention to Natalie. She was jealous, killed them, and then tried to make it look like Natalie did it.
Aunt Caroline gets knocked out, leaving Natalie to handle her business. Natalie refuses to kill her mom and is almost stabbed when the police show up and haul Weaver the Cleaver away in handcuffs. Aunt Caroline and Natalie hug. The end!
Minority Report: One prison guard. CSI investigator.
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*Photo Credit: © 2019 Lifetime