VC Andrews’ Gates of Paradise (2019 Lifetime)
Synopsis (via Lifetime)
“Gates of Paradise” quickly turns tragic when Heaven’s daughter Annie (Lizzie Boys) finds herself orphaned and crippled. Whisked off to Farthinggale Manor by Tony Tatterton (Jason Priestley), Annie pines for her lost family, especially for her half-brother Luke (Keenan Tracey). Without the warm glow of Luke’s love, she is lost in the shadows of despair and forced into submission by Nurse Broadfield (Daphne Zuniga). When Annie discovers a cottage hidden in Farthinggale’s woods, the mystery of her past deepens. Even as she yearns to see Luke again, her hopes and dreams are darkened by the sinister Casteel spell.
It took me a while to muster up the energy and wine to endure the 4th installment of Lifetime’s VC Andrews’ series.
Lifetime spent a pretty penny for some 80’s music. “Tainted Love” plays while Annie (Heaven’s daughter) paints and mounts Luke, her Cousin/Half brother…. (I’m going to need more wine.) Heaven shows up and is unnecessarily a totally different actress. I get the character is supposed to be older, but Annalise Basso could have played the part. Heaven, Fanny, and Logan are all in their 40’s now. They are keeping family secrets from Annie, and Heaven promises to come clean now that her daughter is 18.
Heaven assures her daughter that she is going nowhere, which means that she is going to die. At Fanny’s 40th birthday party, Logan drinks too much and flirts with Fanny. Heaven gets mad and makes her family leave. While driving, drunk, Heaven and Logan argue. They get in an accident, and Annie is now an orphan… oh, and she is left paralyzed. (The doctor says she will make a full recovery, somehow?) Annie wakes up in the hospital, and Tony steps in to take care of Annie. He even hires her a private nurse! Instead of being grateful, Annie ugly cries and screams, “NO NO NO.” (She is like me watching this movie.)
The doctors tell Annie that she needs to have no stressful stimuli and is cut off from Luke and Fanny. Tony offers to take Annie to Fathinggale to give her peace and quiet. On the way, the nurse drugs Annie. When she arrives at the mansion, Annie sees it is run down and in need of some dusting. She gets set up in Heaven’s old room, which is on the second floor. She asks for a phone and some art supplies before getting drugged again.
Nurse Broadfield is pretty intense. She scrubs Annie very hard during baths, keeps giving her surprise shots, and isolates her from the other servants in the house. The nurse does let Tony still visit Annie in the middle of the night. Tony confuses Annie for Heaven, and then yells are her. He is mentally unstable and super creepy. Especially when he kisses her on the mouth and calls her Heaven.
Annie, rightfully, doesn’t trust Nurse Broadfield and asks Tony to replace her and to get out of her room. Tony takes Annie on a walk and tells her the backstory that we’ve already heard and seen in the previous movies. Tony doesn’t send Nurse Broadfield anywhere, and things start to get abusive, including Annie shitting the bed and left to sit in her own filth??? Then she is given a scalding hot bath. (Julie Benz did it better.) This is the final straw, and Annie gets Tony to fire Nurse Broadfield.
Left alone with Tony, Annie realizes that she may have made a mistake isolating herself with a senile old man. The time alone isn’t all back, Annie starts to gain movement back in her toes and practices standing, and then later walking. She takes bed sheets and ties them together and then ties them to her wheelchair. She lowers the wheelchair down the stairs and goes down slowly on her butt. Once on the main floor of the mansion, Annie gets into her chair and looks for a phone. She calls Luke and gets his lady friend to let him know that “Annie is in trouble.” Then she finds letters that she sent to luke that were never mailed and gifts he sent her that she never received. The servant catches her trying to escape but lets her go.
Annie rolls herself into the hedge maze and finds Troy and his cottage. Troy somehow hasn’t aged, even though the rest of the cast has been recast or put in extremely excessive age makeup. Annie isn’t so concerned about who Troy is and asks for a phone or help to escape. Troy helps Annie because it is what Heaven would have wanted. Tony catches them and locks Annie in her room.
Luke shows up and confronts Tony. (Who has a gun.) Annie crawls out of her bed and tries to crawl to the window, the call for Luke. She grabs a pitcher and smashes the window causing Luke to rush to her rescue. Tony and Luke fight, but no one is shot… Luke carries Annie out of there and brings her back to his house with Fanny.
Annie learns the truth about her family, and honestly, who cares! Tony dies, and Annie asks Troy if he is her father. Which he is. Now Luke and Annie are cool to date (but it is actually NOT cool!!!!) because they aren’t actually related. They kiss in the hedge maze, and I’m sooooo done with this series.
Minority Report: Fourth movie, and we finally have our first POC actor. He plays a servant. Unacceptable.
🔪 (1 Knife)
🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷 (5 glasses of wine required)
*Photo Credit: © 2019 Lifetime