Secrets in the Basement (2018 Lifetime)
Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Delilah and her husband Shawn are overjoyed to leave their troubles in the city behind and begin their fresh start in their new smart home in the suburbs. Meeting Jay, the charming man who designed their house, Delilah feels that they will settle in well here. Unbeknownst to them, their beautiful new house is harboring a masked figure in the basement. Delilah begins to suspect that someone else is in the house, and when the masked figure is revealed, Delilah and Shawn must fight to escape their safe haven with their lives.
Delilah and her husband Shawn are checking out their new house. Little do they know, someone is in the house in a COVID mask, ballcap, and goggles, picking at some ice. (He is probably in the basement.) Barbara, the realtor, shows the couple around the beautiful house. It is a smart home designed by famous designer Jay Christo. The house is so smart; it may be the smartest thing in the movie.
Delilah is concerned that the house doesn’t have a basement because it is a flood zone. She is easily distracted by her hunk husband, seducing her on the couch and brushes off her worries. Delilah seems to have anxiety and can’t handle stress well. Shawn is supportive and understanding. He comforts her when she loses her meds in the move and helps her order more. Delilah has been in the hospital recently for mental health issues.
The gaslighting starts immediately. The oven is left on, random banging, kitchen drawers left open. The basement person also steals her pills and places them back, making Delilah think she is losing it.
At the hardware store, Delilah meets a fabulous man in a red suit. He is the designer of the house, Jay Christo. She invites a perfect stranger over to the house and walks him around the house. Then they get drunk on wine and laugh together. Shawn comes home and is surprised to see his wife drunk with a strange man. He puts her to bed and again takes excellent care of her… Could he be a bad guy? Why is he so sweet?
Delilah has nightmares about fire and pills. A bloody woman walks towards, and we get our first jump scare in the movie. Delilah wakes up and struggles to catch her breath. To clear her mind, she goes for a night swim in her nightgown or does a weird balancing thing, Delilah can’t swim.
At the pharmacy, Delilah runs into Barbara. They talk about the backstory about Delilah’s mental health issues. She struggled with perfection and became addicted to pills. Delilah almost killed herself by overdosing when everything became too overwhelming. She then accidentally burned the apartment complex and almost killed a woman. It is a well-acted and, more importantly, well-written monologue. Lifetime has a history of problematic depictions of mental health. I’m glad to see some care was taken with this backstory.
While Delilah is in the bath, the basement person sneaks into the bathroom, steals her pills again, and switches them out. Shawn almost walks right into the basement person, but thankfully his sexy ass is okay!
The gaslighting continues, and Delilah is terrified. Jay seems to be the culprit. He even has the same tattoo as the basement person, so it is probably him. Delilah opens up to Jay about being a designer and her mental health issues. His advice? “In life, your either a hammer or a nail; always be the hammer.” Then he drugs her.
Barbara finds the original blueprints and shows them to Jay. Jay is upset that he found out his secret and puts on his black gloves, forces her to call Delilah, and tells her there is no basement and almost kills her, but Barbra does it herself… running into traffic. Then Jay visits his wife, Betty, in the hospital. She is in a coma. (I’m surprised because I thought Jay was gay. My gaydar is off. This is why I’m single.)
Delilah wakes up and hears someone in the house. She grabs a gun and finds a room filled with smoke. Shawn comes home and finds his hysterical wife and tries to calm her down. He tells her she is paranoid. When Delilah shares that she has been thinking of the woman from the fire, Shawn promises to find the woman and prove she has recovered. He learns that the woman from the apartment is Betty, Jay’s wife. He also learns that she recently died in the hospital.
Things escalate with the house, and Delilah has an extended mental breakdown scene. Melina Bartzokis does very well pulling this off. It is entirely free of dialogue and relies solely on her reactions. She finds the basement door, and Jay pushes her down the stairs.
Jay plans on making it look like Delilah killed herself. He is seeking revenge for what she did to his wife, Betty. Jay puts a bag over Delilah’s head and almost suffocates her to death. Since she is in the basement, I’m not sure who she will get saved from this. Nevermind, Jay takes her out of the basement. If he just left her there, Shawn would have never found them.
Shawn shoots Jay with the gun, but it is filled with blanks or something? Jay stabs Shawn and throws the couple in the basement. Delilah set the house on fire; I guess it is what she does, and hits Jay in the face with a hammer. (Nail meets the hammer.) Jay falls into the pool and drowns.
Betty comes back to life and learns that her husband is dead. Now Betty is out for revenge.
Minority Report: Barbara, Nurse,
I liked that the gun was in a lockbox. If you are going to own a gun, you better keep it locked up in a safe.
🔪🔪🔪 (3 Knives)
🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷 (5 glasses of wine required.)
*Photo Credit: © 2020 Lifetime