Death Saved my Life (2021 Lifetime)
Synopsis (via Lifetime)
On the surface, it seems Jade (Meagan Good) has it all, a successful marketing career, a husband admired and respected in the community, and a young daughter, they both dote on. However, behind closed doors, her life is far from perfect.
The movie starts with a bloody home invasion. A husband is on the phone with 911 freaking out.
Cut to six weeks earlier. Jade appears to be living the dream with a handsome surgeon husband, Ed, and an adorable daughter. Jade’s sister Leigh moves to town and is thrilled to get to spend time with her niece. Leigh brings a dress, and Ed disapproves. He cuts the dress (Like the evil stepsisters in Cinderella.) and calls Jade a whore. Things are not so good behind closed doors. Ed is EXTREMELY abusive and makes jealous accusations. Then he apologizes for his actions and goes back to pretending his life is picture-perfect.
The next morning, Ed tells Jade to work from home or quit her job. Kayla, the daughter, begins to notice that her mother is not happy and cries herself to sleep. Jade packs a bag full of cash and plans on making a run for it while Ed is out. She moves in with her sister
Ed comes home and realizes that his wife has left. He calls her repeatedly and smashes things in the kitchen, including a few family photos. The facade has been shattered.
A workout montage happens to show Jade has gotten her strength back. She shares custody with Ed and denies him when he shows up at her work with flowers. Ed stalks Jade outside her work parking lot and threatens her. She tells him that she would rather be dead than take him back. Jade gets a new place but is continually on edge because Ed is stalking her. Ed also hires a hitman to take Jade out in a parking lot in the middle of the day. Jade goes to the police for help, but Ed’s best friend is the police sergeant.
Jade leaves her daughter with her sister and fake her own death because the hitman is still after her. The hitman is confused but takes the credit. Jade plans to let Ed incriminate himself because the husband is always the first suspect.
Detective question Ed on Jade’s disappearance, and it turns out Lee has already talked to the police and given a damning testimony.
Jade is hold up in a motel messing with Ed. She sends him their wedding video and makes a reservation under her name, and leaves him a note wishing him a happy anniversary.) I’m not sure what her plan is here, but I’m into it.
The hitman takes credit for killing Jade and demands money from Ed. Jade breaks into his house and finds out his name is Donald Eastwood by stealing his mail. Then she checks on her daughter and becomes concerned when she finds Kayla playing and is almost caught by Ed.
If that wasn’t risky enough, Jade breaks into her old home, copies files from his computer, and inserts pictures of herself on his presentation. Then she sees he has packed up all her stuff, so she hangs it all back up to mess with him. It is great.
Ed is suitably spooked and confronts the hitman. Ed demands proof and wants to see the body. The hitman shows a ring that Jade left in the hitman’s house as proof that he killed her. Jade calls the hitman’s probation officer and tips them off. He is arrested with a bag full of cash.
Jade stages her own death and takes pictures of her dead body with a remote. She turns the images into the police. It is the final piece of evidence that the police need to bring Ed into custody. The press gets a hold of the story and prints a story confirming Jade is most likely dead.
Jade sends her sister a letter letting her know that she is alright. It is a touching moment.
Ed is falling apart, drinking heavily, botching surgeries, and forgetting to pick up his daughter. He hears Jade in his head and runs around his house, shooting at nothing. The police show up because of the gunshots. Kayla is taken into protective custody for her safety.
Jade has broken Ed. Now it is time to confront him. At the town visual, Leigh promises that the haunting won’t stop. Lee has a slip-up and says, “she won’t stop,” instead of “it” won’t stop, and Ed knows he is not crazy. He runs to find Jade. He doesn’t have to look far because Leigh leads him right to her.
Ed comes into the motel room, but Jade is ready for him. He tells her that he is going to kill her himself. Jade was expecting him and had the police at the ready. They arrest him, and Jade reminds him that she would rather die than be with him.
Jade is reunited with her daughter, and they scream about strawberries.
Minority Report: Jade, Ed, Leigh, Kayla, Parole Officer, Doctor,
Ripped from the headlines. No based on one specific true story, but more inspired by women who fake their own deaths to get out of terrible situations. Known as Pseudocide, “the act of faking one’s own death,”
VERY GOOD Lifetime movie.
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