Girl in Room 13 (2022 Lifetime)

Girl in Room 13 (2022 Lifetime)

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Cast: Anne Heche, Matt Hamilton, Larissa Dias, Max Montesi

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Inspired by actual events. Grace (Larissa Dias), became addicted to opioids after her doctor prescribed them for a sports injury at a very young age. After three stints in rehab, she is finally ready to turn her life around. Under the watchful eye of her mother, Janie (Anne Heche), Grace takes on a job at her family’s restaurant. But her past will not let her go and when her friend coerces her into meeting her former love interest and drug dealer, Richie (Max Montesi), she finds herself imprisoned in a hotel room with no way out. Held captive, Richie repeatedly violates Grace, forces her to consume drugs and alcohol, and starves her–all to break her down so that she becomes compliant and can be sold into human trafficking. Refusing to give up on her daughter, Janie starts an all-out hunt to find Grace. Directed by Elisabeth Rohm. (2022)

Recap/Wine Thoughts

The movie starts with Grace fleeing a motel and hiding under a car from her kidnapper.

Five days earlier, we learn that Grace has been in and out of rehab, and her biggest supporter has been her mother, Janie. (Played by the late Anne Heche.) They celebrate five days sober with the whole family, and things seem to be going well. Janie is worried that she is too concerned about her daughter relapsing and shares her concerns with her husband, Burt. 

Grace used to be a competitive diver until her addiction took over. A fellow diver asks for some tips at the local pool and is star-struck by Grace. Grace coaches the girl and mourns the person she could have been without the drugs. Janie is there to comfort her daughter when she is afraid of relapsing. 

Richie, Grace’s ex-boyfriend/drug pusher, finds out she is back in town and sends her gifts to her hostess job. He also facetimes her with his son. 

When the son gets hurt, a fellow waitress asks Grace to bring some money to Richie to help pay for the medical bills. The whole thing is sketchy, and Janie is skeptical of the impromptu errand. She reluctantly allows Grace to borrow the family car and dog for the road trip.

At the drop-off point, Richie smokes a cigarette and shadowboxes. Grace drops off the money and hugs Richie, and as she does, he chokes her out and throws Grace in his car. Richie drags Grace to a motel in room 13 and rapes her. Richie then force-feeds her vodka and admits to planning to human trafficking Grace. (The scenes are hard to watch because Grace can’t even comprehend what is happening to her, Richie is someone she trusted and loved.)

When the family car and dog are found abandoned in the parking lot, Janie is sure that something horrible happened to her daughter. The police get involved but aren’t sympathetic because Grace is an adult and probably replaced in their opinion. 

Richie tries to sell Grace off, but the buyer only wants $2000. Like, they are legit talking about buying human beings. (WTF is wrong with these people?!? Richie wins the award for MOST DESPICABLE LIFETIME BAD BOYFRIEND IN HISTORY!)

On the fourth day in captivity, Richie brings Grace to a big box store to make some returns for quick cash. Grace continues trying to get away and thinks she has been saved multiple times!!! A driver almost runs her over, but ignores Grace’s screams for help. The same for the motel manager, who has cut a deal with Richie. 

Laurie frantically looks for her daughter and talks to Grace’s drug dealer, who tells her that Richie roofies girls and sells them into human trafficking. Lauries realizes that the police are not going to help her and finds security footage that shows Richie abducting Grace. Laurie’s own husband/boyfriend? (I am unsure who this guy is.) doesn’t believe her. A scene between Laurie and Burt would have benefited from some peaks and valleys in the conversation. The whole scene is them screaming at one another at a ten the entire time. 

Burt calls Grace’s card company and learns that she is using the card to charge items and then return them for cash. (What kind of janky store is practicing that return policy?) 

If Richie wasn’t the worst already, he tries to force Grace to film a sex video. These scenes keep getting more and more disturbing, which is the point. It typically takes 10 days to break someone down enough for human trafficking. Grace has been abducted for eight days and loses her will to fight. It all seems so hopeless, and Grace is exhausted from the constant torment. 

Of course, Janie makes missing person flyers and hands them out around town. She learns about the “Heroin Highway” and posts the missing flyers at the businesses along the route. It ends up being fruitless, and the frustrated mother cries and screams in a car. (Which gave me chills due to Anne Hache’s recent death.)

The cashiers from the big box store recognize Grace from the flyer and send Janie to the motel where Grace is. Janie bursts in and saves her daughter and many mother girls from life in human trafficking. Richie and the buyer are both arrested. (Truly, this is one instance where the bad guys could have been killed in the end.)

Six months later, Grace is back at the pool and is back on the 20-meter board. She goes for a back-tuck layout and nails it. Grace finds her strength and self-worth.

The movie then shares the following statistics.

In 2020, the Internation Labor Organization estated that there are currently 25 million victims of human trafficking around the world.

To conduct their operations, traffickers need the assistance of the hospitality industry, the banking system to launder money, the transportation industry, and internet platforms to recruit and advertise their victims. 

Human trafficking is a $150 billion-a-year global industry. 

Side Note

Minority Report: Ivy, Beth, nail tech, Hotel dry cleaner, 

This is one of Emmy award-winning actress Anne Hache’s last movie roles. She died on August 11th at the age of 53. 

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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: 

N/A (0 Knives)

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

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