Beware the Night Nurse (2023 Lifetime)


Beware the Night Nurse (2023 Lifetime)

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Cast: Maeve Quinlan, Olivia Larsen, Bryce Jones, Vitoria Setta

Director: Lindsay Hartley

Writer: Dan Cameron

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

After struggling to have a child, married lawyers Claire and Zach enlist the help of their friend, Liz to be a surrogate, and she successfully gives birth to baby Owen. But when their surrogate-turned-nanny disappears under mysterious circumstances, the couple struggles to take care of their newborn without any help. Soon thereafter, though, a woman claiming to be the surrogate’s childhood nanny offers to be the couple’s new nanny. Desperate for help, the couple agrees to hire her, not realizing that their new nanny plans to take their baby for her own family. Vitoria Setta, Bryce Jones, Olivia Larsen, and Maeve Quinlan star. (2023)

Recap/Wine Thoughts

The movie starts off by a fall lake underscored with eerie music. A brunette woman frantically chases another cloaked figure through the woods. The cloaked kidnapper is holding a baby boy and screaming that he is her son. 

One month earlier, we see Claire (the brunette from earlier) and her husband, Zach. They show baby Owen his vast new home. The couple is ridiculously in love and toggles between holding a real baby and a baby doll. (My favorite TV movie game!) 

Claire has a best friend named Liz, who did the selfless act of being a surrogate for the couple. Liz thinks they will make perfect parents, much better than her mother, who was verbally abusive and cruel to Liz because she was a girl when her mother wanted a boy. 

Zach works on a trial during the day, and the baby keeps him crying at night. He suggests they get a night nurse to help with the baby so that they can get some rest. Claire is offended because she is home fully time caring for the baby and feels like he is insulting her.

Liz calls Claire and is in distress; then the line goes dead. Claire rushes to see what is wrong. Liz has a bag packed and screams at Claire to “Stay Away” and “She is not safe!” Then she rushes off. 

Claire recounts the strange interaction with Zach, and he seems mildly concerned. Actually, he doesn’t seem worried at all. When a hot cop questions the couple about Liz’s sudden DEATH BY SUICIDE, Zach still is unphased. 

This baby cries in every scene! (Even at Liz’s funeral, which is appropriate.) Claire blames herself for Liz’s death and is stressed with the guilt and the crying baby. A guest from the funeral hears the baby crying and offers to help calm down the baby. Her name is Vera, and she claims she was Liz’s nanny growing up. Claire and Zach are thrilled to have the help and request some references. They (specifically Zach) want to hire Vera ASAP!

Claire checks with the references (which is Vera putting on a country accent, haha.) Claire is reluctant to pull the trigger but eventually hires Vera as a night nurse. 

Vera spends nights watching the baby doll and is surprised that Claire used a surrogate. Vera tells Claire she is lucky to have a son. She also rudely requests specific formulas and accommodations that seem judgy; Vera bristles when Claire brings up Liz’s rough upbringing. 

After a whole night’s rest, Claire feels more like herself. She is surprised when Zach’s mother, Judy, makes an uninvited visit from out of town. Judy is less concerned with Claire and is all about Baby Owen. Judy disapproves of a surrogate and thinks Claire sucks because she can’t make Carbonara. Judy plans on staying for two weeks!!! (Zach again is oblivious, and Claire is alone, feeling overwhelmed.) When Claire tries to explain, Zach takes his mother’s side. (Zach! Come on, man!)

Vera and Judy do NOT get along either. Judy is horrified that a stranger is the night nurse and asks them to tell Vera to take the next two weeks off. Zach agrees with Clare on this one, and Vera stays on staff. 

Judy and Vera fight over a bottle to feed Owen in the morning. Judy wants to report the incident to the police, but Claire breaks up the argument. Later, when she recounts the fight to Zach, he agrees to mediate a conversation.

Claire and Zach ask the ladies to apologize to one another, but it is a tense meeting! Judy still thinks having a stranger with the baby is inappropriate. Vera makes everyone a pot of tea, and Judy thinks that it is poisoned. Zach doesn’t care and practically chugs it. He passes out for the night. 

Claire has a nightmare, wakes up, and finds Vera in the car with a crying Owen. Claire freaks out, grabs her baby, and runs back into the house. The commotion wakes up Judy. She comes downstairs and sees Vera trying to hold the baby and scratches Claire’s arm. Judy tells Vera to leave, or they will call the police. 

Judy pressures Claire to fire Vera, but Claire thinks it might have been a misunderstanding. (She does Google Vera’s name plus “night nurse” and finds no results.) Claire calls Vera, and the conversation doesn’t go well. Vera comes off unhinged, and Claire feels uncomfortable. Claire tells Vera not to come in for the night; she doesn’t know that Vera is taking the call from outside the house.

Vera shows up in the middle of the night, and Claire is horrified. Zach comes down and asks how Vera got into the house. Judy calls the police. Vera asks Claire to give her Owne and says no matter what they do; she will ALWAYS be a part of Owen’s life. Zach finally man’s up and kicks Vera out of his house. 

The police come and are generally unhelpful. Claire and Zach realize they know little about Vera after the police questioning and decide to call the reference back. The number calls Vera’s phone, and they know it is a fake reference. The cop tells them to change their locks and be more careful who they hire next time. 

Claire goes to Liz’s house and looks around. She finds a box of pictures. and discovers that Vera is Liz’s mother. Claire thinks Vera killed Liz and stalked them to get Baby Owen, who she sees as her grandson.

Claire, Zach, and Judy set up a trap to trick Vera into kidnapping a baby doll. They catch her on video breaking in from an unlocked window and use the evidence to have Vera arrested.
Liz comes back and is ALIVE! Liz tells them she was raised as a boy by her mother and would be punished for wearing dresses. 

Judy and Claire are finally on the same page. They stay at a cabin with Liz while Vera is in jail. Vera (who got out on bail) sneaks around the cabin as the ladies enjoy lunch and drugged their lemonade. Judy passes out, which causes Liz and Claire or realize what is going on. They chase Vera through the woods.

Vera runs in slow motion in her cloak through the woods as Claire chases her. We are back to the beginning of the movie. 

Liz comes from the other side and tells her mother that the baby is not her grandson. Vera calls them pathetic and won’t listen to their pleas to return the baby. 
Zach sneaks up and grabs Vera while Claire takes the baby. There is a struggle, and Vera flies over a ledge to her death. 

The movie ends with Claire serving Judy, Zach, and Liz a carbonara dinner. They are all happy! The end. 

Side Note/Stray Thoughts

The baby doll use here wasn’t egregious, and that baby did seem difficult to work with, TBH! 

Judy was the best!

Minority Report: Zach, Claire, Baby Owen, Baby Doll, Hot Cop, Judy, Vuk,

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Overall rating
Number of Kills: 

🔪 (1 knife)
Enjoyment Level (1-5 scale) 

🍷🍷🍷🍷 (4 Glasses of Wine)

Should you watch it?

Pour it up! (Give it a shot)

Put a Cork in It (Skip It)

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