Girl in the Shed: The Kidnapping of Abby Hernandez (2022 Lifetime)

Girl in the Shed: The Kidnapping of Abby Hernandez(2022 Lifetime)

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Cast: Lindsay Navarro, Ben Savage, Erica Durance

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

The true story of 14-year-old freshman Abby Hernandez (Lindsay Navarro) who vanished while walking home from school in North Conway, New Hampshire. Kicking off the state’s largest search, Abby’s disappearance left her family, especially her mother Zenya (Erica Durance), investigators and the community mystified of her whereabouts. Taken by Nathaniel Kibby (Ben Savage), Abby was kept is a soundproof container and forced to wear a shock collar while enduring psychological, sexual and emotional abuse. Despite suffering daily torture, Abby kept hope alive that she would one day be able to see her family again. (2022)

Recap/Wine Thoughts

October 9th, 2013 Abby Hernadez is a fourteen-year-old who wants her independence. After screaming at her mother, she misses the bus and hitchhikes to school like it is no big deal.

Abby has her crew of friends at school and isn’t bothered by the mean popular girls. She does seem to have a problem catching the school bus and misses her ride home. Abby walks home and gets into a car with a stranger who gives her a ride but passes her street. Then he locks the doors and pulls a gun on Abby while threatening her. The man destroys her phone and tazes her, screaming at Abby to obey him.

They drive deep into the woods, and the man drags her into his house, duct tapes her eyes, and zip ties her hands. He ties her to the bed with restraints, and she prays for God to help her. The man tells Abby that he served in the army and is good with guns. He says if she ever tells anyone what happened to her or tries to get away, he will have a militia kill her family.

Abby’s mother, Zenya, is worried when her daughter doesn’t come home from school. She drives around town, searching the streets for her daughter. She comes across a police officer who puts a call out for a missing child. Then she drinks wine with her friend laughing about how she is probably just overreacting. She isn’t and files an official report. News reporters start circling, and the search for Abby is on. 

The man watches the news about Abby on TV and wears a mask when he talks to Abby. To keep him from raping her, she listens to him and keeps him talking to earn his trust. It doesn’t work because he puts a shot collar on her. Then he shows her news clippings about her kidnapping. 

Thirty-two days later, Abby is still in captivity. She asks the man his name because she wants to be his friend. He tells her to tell him what his name is; she says Felix because it sounds like someone smart and nice. (Which is a move that probably kept her alive, winning him over with subtle ego boots.) 

At work, the man is reprimanded for being a 9/11 denier/flat earther/annoying asshole. He continues to see missing posters for Abby and realizes he needs to call off the search. The man has Abby write a letter saying she ran away. She indents help on the letter and almost gets away with it.

The punishment for trying to get help is more shocks on her neck and body. Then he locks her into a closet and has Abby rewrite the letter.

Zenya receives the letter and is upset that the police/FBI are not moving faster on the case. The letter leaks to the press, and people who helped with the search harass Zenya for wasting their time.

The shed finally comes into play; the man created a soundproof shipping crate with some books and a security camera for Abby to live in. She acts appreciative of his “thoughtfulness. “

77 Days missing, Zenya is losing hope and starting to doubt that her daughter is even really alive. She finds solace in religion.

For Christmas, the man gives Abby a cookbook; as she flips through the pages, Abby sees the name “N Kibby.” Later, he gifts Abby a chess set. As they play, Abby tells him that she wants to be a hairdresser and asks him about his job and asperations. She convinces him to take off the mask, and he relaxes his rules and lets her stay in his house. 

The man and Abby have an uncomfortable romcom moment that includes a flour fight while cooking, like a Hallmark movie. The man spins her around while dancing; Abby keeps her eyes on the exits and locks on the doors. At night Abby dreams of escaping, but the man shoots her before she can get away.

While out in the world, the man gets into a fender bender with a litigious woman named Dottie. He gets some unwanted police attention and has to turn over his guns due to the assault charges against him. The police come to his house to collect and ask questions about the shed but don’t find Abby.

To reward Abby for not creating a scene with the police, he takes her to pet horses and promises to explain more about why he kidnapped her once people stop looking for her. 

Abby asks “Felix” to pick a flower for her. While he is outside, she steals a knife and tucks it away for safekeeping.

The man gets fired from his job and forces Abby to help him counterfeit money. She sees the man’s name again and sees that his name is Nate K. Nate tells her not to call him Nate and to call him Kibby instead. 

Zenya continues to plea to new media outlets to help look for Abby. Most people think that she is a runaway and has stopped looking for the teenager, but she needs help more than ever. 

Nate has become unhinged and realizes that he has to kill Abby. He cries to her and apologizes for what he has to do. Abby continues to outsmart her abductor and tells him that he is just misunderstood. Abby begs him to leave her body someplace where it can be found so her parents know what happened to her. After that, Nate just lets her go.

Abby walks home and just says, “hello.” Zenya can’t believe that her daughter has just walked back into her life. They embrace while sobbing tears of joy. 

Nate Kibby is arrested and sentenced to 45 years in prison. 

In a voice-over, Abby says that the only way she survived was God, her family’s love, and getting Nate to see her as a person rather than an object. 

Side Note

Minority Report: Abby, Zenya, Patricia, Dotty, Detectives, Liz, Agent Carrera 

Abby Hernandez is an executive producer on the film, which is very cool.

The movie was difficult to watch, but I thought well done.

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*** I’ve updated the rating system moving forward. 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 whether to watch or skip: Pour it Up (Would Recommend) or Put A Cork In It (Would Not Recommend). 

Overall rating

Number of Kills: 

Not that kind of Lifetime Movie (0 Knives)

Enjoyment Level: 🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine.)

What did you think of the movie? Let me know in the comments or on social media @LifetimeUncorked

*Photo Credit: © 2022 Lifetime® | A+E Networks®

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