Her Study of a Killer (2023 Lifetime)
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Active with her elite prep school alma mater, Ellie joins the planning committee for her high school reunion. During a meeting, Ellie learns that her daughter discovered the body of the school’s beloved theater teacher, Ms. Meadows, on campus. Ellie is especially distraught by Ms. Meadows’ death given she was not only one of her students but because Ms. Meadows helped Ellie when she became pregnant her senior year of high school. When Ellie returns home from the school, she finds her house has been raided and a friendship bracelet saying, ‘Blood will have blood left behind.’ She recognizes the bracelet from her high school days, which makes her concerned for her family’s safety. With increasingly deadly incidents happening to Ellie’s family by the day, she must uncover who’s trying to use her high school secrets against her before she loses her family forever.
The movie starts in a costume shop where a seamstress is working on a garment and is interrupted by crying. The seamstress goes out on stage, and the crying turns to laughter as a set piece falls and kills the woman. (This is why you have a ghost light on stage, everyone!)
Former actress-turned-mother Ellie is raising her thespian daughter, Brooklyn, with her handsome husband, Daniel. Ellie worries about her daughter and vents to her best friend, Jasmine, about the teenager. Their coffee date is interrupted by famous actress Averie. (She is back in town for the high school reunion. She lived in Ellie’s shadow all through high school.)
At school, Indigo Jones shows up as the new guidance counselor. She is weird and has a first edition of William Shakespeare or something. The school is going to need counseling because Brooklin finds the customer, Mrs. Medows, dead on stage.
Ellie and Danie are called into the principal’s office, and they are horrified to learn about the death and the fact that Brooklyn found the body. Ellie wants to see her daughter right away, but she is already in a counseling session with Indigo Jone, who is a former student.
Brooklyn is home from school for a while and overhears her mother talking about how Mrs. Medows convinced a teen Ellie to keep her baby instead of going to college and pursuing an acting career. Brooklyn is upset because she feels like a mistake.
Before going to bed, Ellie sees her bathroom mirror smashed and written in lipstick is “Blood Will Have Blood.” A quote from Shakespeare’s Macbeth. There is also a friendship bracelet on the floor. Ellie tells the police that the high school theater’s inner circle is being targeted.
The police chief, Trevor, doesn’t see the connection and brushes off Ellie’s concerns. He tells her that she has burned a lot of suspects in high school, and the list of people who hate her is long. (DAMN!!!)
Brooklyn acts out by sneaking out of the house and doing typical teen stuff. Brooklyn is forming an unusual relationship with Indigo, the school counselor. Ellie doesn’t know that Indgo is the new counselor but is jealous because she wants Brooklyn to talk to her mother!
Jasmine, Tiffany, and Ellie meet in the school gym to plan the reunion. They decided to make it in honor of Mrs. Medows. Avery crashes the planning party but then has to take a call from her agent.
Daniel seems like the perfect husband; he even sleeps shirtless, which is mandatory in a Lifetime movie. Then in the middle of the night, he sneaks out of the house and into Mrs. Meadow’s home to look through some documents. Does he then visit the grave of Isabella Brown, a baby?????
Ellie sees Brooklyn leaving a session with her counselor and is surprised to see Indigo. Indigo explains that she had a terrible high school experience and got into counseling to help students like her. Ellie tells Indigo to stop talking to her child.
Tiffany randomly brings up a party from high school and accuses Ellie of sleeping with Trevor. Ellie clears things up and says that she broke up with Daniel that night, and Trevor took her home, so whoever Tiffany saw hooking up was probably Daniel and someone else… INDIGO?!?! Ellie meets with Trevor to rehash the night and see what he remembers from the party.
Ellie visits Mrs. Meadow’s house to gather some old photos and finds the empty file that Daniel took. She realizes she must talk to her husband about what is happening. When Daniel avoids her questions, Ellie kicks him out of the house.
After Brooklyn and Ellie eat the worst-looking spaghetti I’ve ever seen, Daniel calls. He tells his wife that he was drugged and date raped. Then Indigo had the baby and left school. The child died in a car accident at the age of five. Speaking of cars! Daniel is run over after he tells Ellie all this information.
Daniel fights for his life in the hospital, and despite everything she learns, Ellie is by his side. She even tries to skip the High School reunion, but Avery won’t hear of it and insists she comes and honor Mrs. Meadows. Ellie gives Avery a flash drive and Avery mentions that she is envious of Ellie and Brooklyn’s relationship.
At the reunion, Gossip Girl Tiffany spills some tea on Avery. Avery was also pregnant in high school, and Mrs. Medows helped her put the baby up for adoption. (Damn, Mrs. Medows was in everybody’s business.)
Brooklyn watches her dad while the reunion happens and gets a text from Avery that she has food for her. This is enough to lure Brooklyn to an abandoned parking lot. Avery chloroforms Brookyln and throws her in the back of her car. Then Avery sends Ellie a picture of Brooklyn staged on the theater floor with the note, “Blood will be Blood.”
Ellie rushes to the stage, and Avery stands over Brooklyn with a knife. Avery is convinced that Mrs. Meadows gave her baby to Ellie. She also is the woman who Daniel slept with, and their baby died when she was five.
Ellie throws a set piece onto Avery and rushes out of the theater with her daughter to get away.
Cut to another coffee talk catch-up where the girls laugh about what happened. They welcome Indigo to the inner circle with some jewelry.
Avery sits in a mental institution quoting Shakespeare to a photo of Daniel and Ellie.
Minority Report: Sadie, Trevor, Principal Trammer, Indigo.
Maybe because I grew up in the theater, but I was interested in this one and thankful we didn’t have to sit through a High School production of Macbeth.
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Number of Kills:
🔪 (1 knife)
Enjoyment Level (1-5 scale)
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