Stolen in Plain Sight (2020 Lifetime)
Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Escaping an abusive husband, Melissa takes her baby, Ryan, to her parents’ cabin in a small Louisiana town where she and her sister spent most of their childhood summers. But when Ryan is abducted, and the local authorities are less than helpful, Melissa is forced to take matters into her own hands and in the process discovers the dark secret the town is hiding. Gracie Gillam, Ann Mahoney, Kyle Clements, Betsy Holt, and Gary Grubbs star. (2020)
The movie begins in 1993 in Louisiana. A young mother in 90’s attire is on her home phone warming up a bottle when someone steals her daughter Kayla from the crib,
Flash to 27 years later in Huston, Texas. Melissa iis in an abusive relationship with a man named Dylan. After a terrible beating, Melissa chains up her boyfriend and escapes with her son Riley. Melissa files a police report, and her sister, Theresa, helps her deal with the trauma of abuse. This is very well written and directed, treating the subject matter seriously and depicting what the process of reporting an abusive relationship might look like. Important.
Melissa goes to a family cabin in Louisiana, where she will be safe from Dylan. The cabin is in a remote location and is rundown. In town, a salesgirl named Kaylene is overly friendly and offers to babysit Ryan whenever. (Kaylene also puts price tags on the child’s head, which is rude AF.) Zach, the hardware store owner, apologies to Melissa and offers to help repair the cabin if needed. He even takes her to her car because he is a gentleman.
Dylan confronts Theresa in an empty parking lot and demands to know where Melissa is. Dylan isn’t the only one seeking her out. Kaylene shows up unannounced at the cabin and creeps Melissa out. She asks that Kaylene let her know the next time she plans on stopping by.
Everyone in the town is kind of shady. The utility office receptionist tries to extort $400. There is also a couple with a baby who does not know what to do with a toddler. The woman who works at the police station, Janelle, is the only kind person. Janelle offers to talk to the Sherrif about a toy fire truck Kaylene left on Melissa’s car with a note.
At the playground, Melissa sees the strange couple again. Then she notices a little girl running into traffic to get a ball and rushes to save her from danger. She only takes her eyes off her son for a few seconds, and Riley disappears.
Melissa calls the police, and they ask her if she is under the care of the physician. Melissa is freaking out and is gaslit because everyone in the park says they didn’t see Melissa with a child. The police call an ambulance and take Melissa into a hospital for mental assessment. Theresa shows up and gets Melissa released.
After talking to the police, who aren’t helpful, the sisters look through the cabin and find documents that they were adopted. Melissa also finds a gun and has target practice in the back yard. Then she makes flyers with Zac and Kaylene, who are both super supportive. Melissa and Zac hookup in his car, but she stops things from going too far.
We see Riley sitting with the brown-haired woman from the utility office while watching Night of the Living Dead? (Random.)
Theresa thinks that something is up with the Sherrif and goes to investigate herself. Melissa marches to the sheriff’s office, and Janelle pointedly tells Melissa to check the bulletin board. It is full of missing children flyers. Melissa finds files in archives that show Sheriff Dunn and his family have been kidnapping and selling children. Then she sees her son’s teddy bear in the back of Kaylene’s truck. SHE IS MARRIED TO SHERIFF DUNN.
Theresa finds Dylan and gets caught immediately. Dylan beats her. He answers her phone, and Melissa inadvertently shares her location with her abuser.
Melissa is sure that something is going on in the town and fills Theresa in. Theresa is in the hospital and has to get surgery on her hand. With no one else to turn to, Zach ends up helping Melissa. Melissa starts to suspect Zach is in on it and hitches a ride with a stranger to get Zach off her trail.
Melissa goes to the Dunn family home and sees them with her son. They are plotting on how to get rid of Melissa. Zach is in on it too. An FBI agent calls Melissa and is on the case. Melissa can’t wait and pulls out her gun. She takes matters into her own hands and breaks into the house with a hideaway key.
In the home, Melissa uses the old bobby pin trick to open more files on missing children. She confirms that she and her sister were kidnapped when they were kids. Then she flips the circuit breaker and waits for the Sherriff to return. She shoots him when he won’t tell her where her son is. Kaylene grabs her husband’s gun and starts shooting at Melissa as she tries to save her son. Zach shoots Kaylene and wants to take her to Mexico at gunpoint.
Dylan shows up and starts to beat on Zach, but he is shot pretty quickly. Zach packs a bag up quickly and wants to raise Riley with Melissa. He and his family steal babies from single mothers and give them to adoptive parents. Melissa tells Zach that he was a stolen baby too. He reads the file and feels betrayed. Melissa kisses him and soothes him. While he is distracted, she knocks him out with the firetruck toy.
Melissa takes Riley and runs out of the house. The rest of the movie is terrible ADR to wrap up the story. The Agent saves Melissa and arrests Zach.
Cut to Theresa and Melissa driving to meet their birth parents. Melissa is Kayla from the beginning of the movie.
These kidnapping little kid movies STRESS ME OUT. I’m just a Guncle and can’t deal.
Minority Report: Janelle, Caseworker, Ruby, EMT, Mother/Daughter, Nurse, Dylan’s friend, Agent Moore,
🔪🔪🔪🔪 (4 Knives)
🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required.)
*Photo Credit: © 2020 Lifetime