Murder in the Vineyard (2020 Lifetime)
Synopsis (via Lifetime)
A woman tries to protect her teenage daughter when she becomes the target of anonymous bullies.
The movie starts like a Hallmark flick with quirky music interspersed with SCARY AF “DUN’s” as a woman runs from her life in the vineyard.
Three weeks earlier, Emma walks the property with Juan. She has inherited from her grandfather and sold her business to run the vineyard. Her angsty daughter Beatrice wears black and is starting at a new school. She is placed in AP Bio with the seniors and is shown around by a blonde girl named Chloe. They walk by the Soccer field, and a boy named Bryan kicks his ball over their way. Bea and Bryan have chemistry, but Bryan is already dating the most popular girl in school, April. (Someone follows Bea and takes pictures of her while she is shopping for plants.)
Emma is meeting cute guys too. She connects with an old flame named Luke, who was also a soccer star. He asks her out on a date, and I love his forwardness. So does Emma. She agrees to go on a date with him the next night. Aww! The date happens, and Emma doesn’t kiss Luke.
Strange things happen to mother and daughter. Emma hears someone in her house, and Bea has someone aggressively try to get into her bathroom stall at school. (Terrifying.)
In AP Bio, Bea is partnered with Bryan. He tells her that they should study after practice. April is the head cheerleader and looks like Amber from Teen Mom. She gives Bea the death stare and forbids Bryan from hanging out with her. He breaks up with April.
Bea texts with Bryan as someone takes pictures of her from the window. Emma notices and screams off the Peeping Tom. That doesn’t stop April from filming Bea in school and posting videos online. The stalking vibes are strong in this movie, thanks to some interesting directional choices.
Romance blossoms between Emma and Luke. They walk the vineyard and makeout. Bryan and Bea are also opening up to one another. Bryan’s dad is in jail for white-collar crime, and his parents are getting divorced. Bea tells him that her dad remarried and has a new family.
Rumors about Bea are posted on a “slam site,” claiming that Bea has a venereal disease. Emma finds out and lets the school know. The principal says it has happened before, but they will handle it this time. Bryan doesn’t turn on Bea; he stands by her side and doesn’t believe the rumors. He seems like a good guy.
The opening soccer game happens, and Bea is invited to watch Bryan’s game AND a party afterward. At the party, Bryan is a star, and everyone loves him. Bea is less popular at the party and is bullied by popular girls and roofied. (Umm, what.)
Bea wakes up the next morning in her bed to a disappointed and disapproving motherly stare. Emma tells Bea she was probably hazed and didn’t want to hear her side of things. That is bad parenting. Bea takes a shower and finds bruises on her wrists and body; she doesn’t remember anything.
Someone breaks into the house and watches Bea sleep. They pul the covers off her body and takes pictures of her while she is sleeping. The images are posted online again, and everyone in the school is acting weird towards Bea, even her friends Reese and Chloe. Bryan tries to explain why he left her alone at the party, but she isn’t having it.
Bea shows her mom the website and promises she wasn’t drinking. Emma comes around an realizes her daughter was drugged. She calls Luke to tell him what happened and apologizes for not believing her daughter the first time.
Bea has flashbacks of being attacked and almost being raped while walking through the halls. A man with sunglasses and a hoodie looks at her and makes an “Shhh” gesture. Bea talks to the counselor, and the advice she receives is STAY STRONG, AND DON’T LET THEM GET TO YOU?!?!? Coach Luke is a little more helpful. He guilts the team into doing better and looking out for females. Mac, Bryan’s friend, admits to helping April drug Bea.
Emma wants to press charges against the soccer team, and the police are not helpful, the detective even discourages her. (What is going on in this town.)
The threats continue, Bea receives notes in her locker and death threats. Emma is outraged and demands that the school and the police take it seriously. Emma finds out that another girl was bullied and killed, which is why the town wants to cover it up.
Finally, Emma appeals to April. April admits to making the slam site but gets paranoid because when Bryan and Mac run by. Bryan is acting very strange and even had spray paint in his gym locker. He is looking more and more guilty, but could it be a misdirect? April is murdered in her car for talking.
Bea is texting with Bryan and realzies that he wasn’t on the other end. She is kidnapped, and the kidnapper leaves a suicide note. It is a copy cat of the crime that happened years ago.
Bryan rushes to Emma and Luke to show them that his phone was stolen, and he is being set up for kidnapping Bea. Luke is overly supportive and is probably guilty. The police talk to Bryan and are suspicious of him after not doing their jobs for days.
Emma continues to do her investigating and stops by Mac’s house. His dad is a vet, and he has access to Ketamine. He pours Emma a glass full of the stuff and isn’t as slick as he thinks. Emma sees him and knows he has her daughter and is responsible for the murders. She spills the water on herself and excuses herself to the bathroom and searches Mac’s room instead. She fins a composition book with printed out pictures of her daughter ties up. Emma takes pictures and sends them to the detective. Then she hears her daughter calling for help from a shed. Emma opens it with an ax. Mac grabs her and chloroforms Emma before she can untie her daughter.
Emma wakes up tied up, and Mac says he picked Bea because she seems too perfect and ignored him. He wanted to take her down a few pegs. Bea gets herself free from her restraints and rushes to save her mother, who is being strangled to death. Bea grabs a bottle of wine and hits Mac with it. Then she stabs him, and they run through the vineyard. Emma is about to kill Mac, but the police stop her and arrest him.
The grand opening of the winery happens, and everyone is happy. Luke proposes to Emma. Murder in the Vineyard has NO MURDER IN THE VINEYARD.
Minority Report: Jenny, Juan, Tracy, Reese
The musical choices in this movie was a head-scratcher.
🔪🔪 (2 Knives)
🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷 (5 glasses of wine required.)
*Photo Credit: © 2020 Lifetime