Next Door Nightmare (2021 Lifetime)

Next Door Nightmare (2021 Lifetime)

Cast: Julia Borsellino, Mark Taylor, Deborah Grover

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

When young couple Sarah and Kyle move next door to Helen, a charismatic older woman, they have no idea she’s a deeply disturbed psychopath who will stop at nothing to become Sarah’s surrogate mother, and grandmother to the child she is expecting. Julia Borsellino, Mark Taylor, Deborah Grover, Marium Carvell star. (2021)

Thoughts

The movie begins with two women arguing. Helen, a grandmother type, calmly argues with a frantic pregnant woman named Kelly. Helen thinks she is the woman’s husband. The pregnant woman rushes off in her car on a snowy night and crashes her car while looking at hr phone. When Helen learns Kelly is dead, Helen attacks the police officers with a knife. She is committed to a mental hospital. 

Months later, Helen has been released and is living comfortably in the suburbs. Grace is a therapist/social worker who makes a house call to check in on Helen. She neglects to warn the new neighbors Sarah and Kyle, about Helen’s mental health issues. 

Sarah and Kyle are welcomed to the neighborhood by Helen, who immediately asks if they are expecting a baby soon. (Which is rude.) They brush off the question politely and accept Helen’s invitation to dinner. Little do they know Helen is lurking around their house and looks through the window while cooing, “My new family… My NEW BEGINNING!” 

Kyle heads out of town, not knowing the danger he is leaving his wife alone with. He has an inappropriate relationship with his ex-girlfriend/party girl, Angela.

Sarah is an oversharer and tells Helen about being an Orphan with her best friend, Jennifer. They were never adopted. Sarah also tells Helen that Kyle had an affair, but they are working on building up trust. Their conversation is cut short by Grace visiting for another check-in. Only Helen isn’t home and isn’t supposed to be visiting the neighbors. 

Grace looks around the house and finds a serial killer wall of people she fixated on in the past. Her real daughter killed herself in the past and has been trying to replace her since she died. Grace pleads with Helen to get help and doesn’t realize that she is about to be murdered. Helen stabs Grace in the chest and buries her in the snow. 

Helen throws away the evidence but drops a glove in the snow. Then she drives Grace’s car to a parking garage in the city and then follows Sarah around town as she shops for a pregnancy test. Helen asks Sarah if she needs someone to stay with her while Kyle is out of town to help take care of her if she is pregnant. (Which Sarah is.) They celebrate as a mother and daughter would. Jen (Sarah’s BFF & Orphan friend) crashes the party, and Helen gets jealous.

Kyle comes home from his trip, and so does his mother, Judith. This is when the claws REALLY come out. Judith gives Helen the brush off and warns Sarah not to get too close to Helen because something is off with her. Sarah can’t write Helen off that quickly and emotionally bonds with the woman over her new baby. Judith, on the other hand, is harder for Sarah to get along with. 

Helen fantasizes about her dream home and living happily with Sarah and the new baby with her alone time, which isn’t necessarily creepy. It is kind of sad. 

Angela finds Kyle’s home and snoops around, taking pictures. Helen catches her and invites her for tea. She bribes Helen into working with her to convince Sarah that Kyle is cheating on her again. 

While Helen is out shopping for a new crib to outdo Judith at the baby shower (which IS a badass move.) Dave, a co-worker of Grace, stops by Helen’s house. When he learns she isn’t home, he stops by Sarah and Kyle’s house. He tells Judith just enough information about Helen to get her online and snooping. Judith learns about Helen’s mental health issues AND suspected murder. Judith decides to confront Helen, which is a bad idea. Judith threatens to expose Helen, and I have never been so sad to see someone die in a Lifetime movie. NOT JUDITH!!!! 

Kyle takes Sarah out to a work dinner and is surprised when his ex-girlfriend, Angela, makes out with him by the bathrooms. An accomplice takes pictures of the whole thing. Instead of texting the photos to Helen, they extort her for more money. Judith threatens Angela, and I thought she was going to kill her, but she didn’t!

Sarah and Kyle come home from dinner and see Judith’s stuff is gone. They assume she left without telling them. Kyle is so busy traveling he barely has time to worry about it. Helen texts Kyle as Judith just to ties things up and buries Judith in the snow too.

Jennifer is the lamest best friend and can never hang out because she is studying all the time. This leaves Sarah alone at home with pictures of her husband cheating. Helen gleefully watches from the window. Sarah packs up his crap in a suitcase while screaming, and then she cries in the mirror. (Have you ever cried in the mirror? It is hilarious!) 

Helen stops by and invites Sarah to her country home while she is in a fragile state. Sarah writes a goodbye letter to Kyle and drives off with Helen. (Who packs a gun and some drugged water.) Sarah doesn’t tell anyone where she is going. With Sarah passed out, Helen deletes all Sarah messages and turns off her phone. This raises red flags for Jen, who stops studying and finally looks for her friend. Jen finds the business card Judith dropped.

Sarah wakes up in Helen’s home and is confused as to where she is. The reception is terrible, and Sarah insists on calling her husband. Helen continues to change the subject and promises to take Sarah into town to make a call. That works until Sarah finds a baby’s room and is creeped out.

Kyle comes home and finds the letter Sarah left him. He calls Angela and is like, “WTF.” Angela tells Kyle that Helen is dangerous. Then Kyle and Jen call Dave, who tells them that Helen wanted her dream house in a forest. Kyle rushes off, and Jen stays behind to looks at real estate listings. (JEN SUCKS!) 

Sarah begs for Helen to release her from captivity and tells her that she will be there for her if she lets her go. Helen says that she will NEVER let Sarah go. Sarah tries to escape but, Helen has taken out the car parts like the nuns in The Sound of Music. Then she pulls a gun on Sarah and locks her in her room.

Jen finds the evidence in the trash and the buried bodies and calls Kyle instead of the police. She also tells Kyle to hurry up, which just isn’t helpful, gurl!

Helen sees Kyle’s car pull up and rushes outside with her gun and a flashlight. She shoots at him as he runs across the snowy yard. Kyle makes it inside and breaks Sarah out of her room. Sarah tells him that Helen is crazy, which… DUH!

The couple sneaks out of the house and creeps around slowly. Helen screams at them and then realizes what she is doing and is horrified with herself. She cries on the steps about working hard to have a family. 

Sarah and Kyle have their beautiful baby girl, Judith. 

Side Note

Minority Report: Kyle, Judith, Jennifer, Police Officer, co-worker, baby Judith

Tess being horrified by everything doesn’t count as jump scares. She is just an over reacter. 

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*** I’ve updated the rating system moving forward start 7/26/2021. Knives represent # of kills. Wine is over enjoyment (NOT a value judgment) on a 1-5 scale.

 I will use the following tags for those who want to know watch or skip: Pour it Up (Would Recommend) or Put A Cork In It (Would Not Recommend)

Overall rating

Number of Kills: 🔪🔪🔪🔪 (4 Knives)

Enjoyment Level: 🍷🍷🍷🍷 (4 glasses of wine)

*Photo Credit: © 2021 Lifetime® | A+E Networks®

Live tweet along with @LifetimeUncork using the hashtag #NextDoorNightmare

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1 Comment

  1. I was real sad they had to kill off Judith right when they started building a relationship 😭

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