The Podcast Murders (2022 Lifetime)
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
A reclusive true crime podcast tries to keep a low profile despite achieving massive success for her investigation of the serial killing case she calls the “Barbie Murders.” But soon it becomes clear that with this bizarre case, her anonymity isn’t the only thing being threatened. Stars Lanie McAuley, and Natalie Sharp (2022).
The movie begins in a house with green lighting. (Implying night vision?) A pretty blonde enters and doesn’t leave. She begs for her life before someone kills her. Her name is Lucy Miller and she is the subject of a true-crime podcast called The Bombshell Murders. It is about an at-large serial killer who attacks attractive blondes.
Chloe Joy is on a mission to solve “The Bombshell Murders.” She sees herself as a potential victim, a bombshell, and keeps her name off the project for her own protection. Someone from the press finds out who she is and tries to get an interview, but Chloe is more focused on training hard in the gym.
In her home studio, Chloe has a serial killer wall linking all the victims with red string. She is losing sleep and obsesses over the murders. Chloe visits the home where Lucy was murdered and starts to look into the real estate agent. The agent is also on to Chloe and asks if she is a potential buyer or a true crime person.
At The gym, a handsome man named Josh helps Chloe tape her hand for boxing. Then she meets up with the interviewer, Ellie, at a bar for a cocktail. (Who has ulterior motives) They talk about feeling a lack of confidence growing up and being taken advantage of by stalkers in the past. Once the questions get too real, they drink wine and talk about relationships. It almost feels like they are on a date. (Which would be cool!)
Ellie goes home and reads the comments on the podcast reviews page. (One from Patrick S! Could it be a shout-out to me?) Ellie is having second thoughts about pressuring Chloe to interview and shares her concerns with a mystery person on the phone.
Chloe runs into Josh again at the gym, and they go out for coffee afterward. He tells her about his tedious job, and she shares that she is working on a true-crime book.
A news story speculating about the podcast’s host comes out, and a blurry picture of Chloe surfaces. Chloe and Ellie work to release their interview before someone else can scoop the story. They drink a lot of wine, and Chloe talks about the killings. (We see them happen as Chloe recalls the stories.) Chloe is way overserved, while Ellie is just pretending to be drunk and pouring her wine in plants.
Chloe invites Ellie to spend the night for her safety. Ellie is woken up in the middle of the night by Chloe having night terrors. After comforting Chloe, Ellie goes downstairs to “get some water but instead goes to the podcasting studio and finds some prescription pills and the serial killer wall. Ellie becomes emotional after seeing the body of Megan Hansen.
Josh takes Chloe out on a date, and at first, Chloe is cagey about her life and work. As the night goes on, she decides to open up to Josh. She tells him the truth about the podcast and her past attack. They end the date without a kiss because Josh has a rule. If the first date goes well, he saves the kiss for the second one. They spend every day together after that.
Threatening messages start to ping Chloe. They promise to reveal who she really is, and Chloe sits down with Ellie for the official interview. Chloe talks about her family and disconnects with her mother, who died of cancer. She never knew her father. Chloe admits to changing her name so her attacker cannot find her. Chloe talks about Megan Hansen, and Ellie becomes overwhelmed again.
Josh interrupts the interview and tells Chloe he is going out of town for a few days. (Then he falls off the grid completely) Ellie is distracted and ends the interview early.
Distracted and out of podcast ideas, Chloe goes out for a late-night workout and sees Ellie and John kissing outside a bar. She follows them home and feels foolish. Chloe cries and speeds off. Then she dries her tears and rubs her arm scar, and heads back to the house.
Chloe decides to meet with the blackmailer, and it turns out to be the real estate agent! They promise not to tell anyone and folds immediately on the whole blackmailing scheme.
The bad guy, it seems, is Josh, who has been tracking Chloe in a black hoodie.
Ellie meets Chloe at an abandoned winery to talk about the final episode of The Bombshell Murders. Chloe tells Ellie that she knows about Josh and admits to killing all of the women. Ellie will be the next victim.
What is the reason behind the killings? Betrayal. The first killing of Megan gave Chloe an arm scar. The podcast was to control the narrative.
Chloe calmly pulls a knife out. Josh shows up with the police. He is Megan Hansen’s brother, and Ellie was her best friend. The victims get a monologue here, revealing how they tracked Chloe down. Megan told Josh/Jack about Chloe and how weird she was.
The setup was elaborate, but they got her! The police arrest Chloe and take her away.
Josh/Jack, and Ellie host their own podcast. Man, everyone has a podcast these days.
Very predictable, but I thought it was a nice perspective shift at the end. I also liked that Chloe was played too over the top at the end. Lanie McAuley did a nice job here.
The director sure loves green lights!
Minority Report: Real Estate Agent, Police officer,
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Number of Kills:
🔪 🔪🔪🔪 (4 Knives)
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