Secrets Beneath the Floorboards (2023 Lifetime)
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
After the mysterious murder of her abusive husband, a troubled widow moves into her late grandmother’s lake house, but upon discovering her husband’s past and hidden fortune, she must risk her life to get back what is hers. Stars Lindsay Hartley, Rib Hillis, Colt Prattes, and Katerina Eichenberger (2023).
In an old lake house, children play the age-old hide-and-seek game. A little girl named Whitney runs around and down into a cellar with a flashlight and pigtails. Her older sister, Arabella, finds her before she can get into trouble. (Which is different from where I thought that was going!) Their Oma interrupts their game for a lesson in self-defense.
Cut to the grown-up sisters Whitney and Arabella at a funeral for Whitney’s husband, Al. The funeral is sparsely attended, save for Al’s brother Brad and a Detective looking into Al’s murder. Whitney seems to be handling everything well with the help of her sister and some wine.
At the reading of the will, there are a few surprises. Al recently lost a lot of money, and his assistant Laurie will be the executor of his estate, using whatever money is left to pay off his debts. Whitney inherits nothing except their condo. She decides to get out of town and go to Grandma’s lake house. Bella tells her sister the lake house is haunted and wishes her luck with the ghosts.
Once at the lake house, Whitney walks by the lake and skips rocks. Then, she goes through old things in the home and randomly crushes a cigar before drinking half a bottle of wine.
While shopping in town, Whitney runs into an old sweetheart named Holden, the town sheriff. She asks if he is following her or investigating her husband’s murder. She is awkward and seems paranoid because he is a cop.
A random neighbor named Ronaldo stops by with pie and hopes to chat with Whitney. He is even more awkward than Whitney. His character serves no purpose.
Whitney has terrible nightmares about shooing her husband and is awakened by clattering in the house. She thinks it could be her Oma’s ghost and searches the house with her phone flashlight. It ends up being a raccoon, but someone lurks outside the house.
A storm notification comes in, and Whitney does some storm prep, gathering the standard supplies: Candles, matches, a gun, and a piece of paper with Al’s computer password on it, which she uses to do some research. The internet is out, and Whitney calls for a repair. Instead, she gets Brad knocking at her door. Brad fixes the generator in exchange for some pie and peppermint tea.
They feel chemistry while discussing nothing in particular, and the two almost kiss. Brad apologizes and decides to get going. Storm be damned!
Whitney goes through her husband’s computer and email with the internet back up and running. She finds suggestive and plotting emails from the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. (A little on the nose!) Whitney rushes to the attic to retrieve a flash drive hidden under the floorboards. Lori stops by looking for “business documents.”
While Whitney is doing casual target practice, Holden shows up and makes fun of her aim. He teaches her how to take better shoes, but it is just an opportunity to put his arms around her. It is here Whitney talks randomly about the Holocaust backstory of her Grandma. (Seriously, this came out of nowhere.)
The internet repair woman, Darla, helps Whitney hack into the hard drive, which is an electronic wallet. Then she starts throwing around Bitcoin and NFTs, and just as I am entirely losing interest in this movie, a picture of a dog on a surfboard pops up! It is so cute! Darla continues droning on about tech things; the gist is that the wallet is worth 8 million dollars in NFTs.
A random scene with Ronaldo happens.
A fake out-of-home intrusion is the next plot device to get Holden on the property. Whitney is embarrassed she called him over for nothing and asks him to stay for dinner. They talk about their dream jobs. He wants to open a bistro, and she wants to go hiking! They kiss in the candlelight and almost get it on until Holden says they found Laurie’s body in the woods. (Which is a mood killer!)
Whitney is all alone at home, and Brad shows up unannounced. He knows about the NFTs and wants the money. He forces his way inside and searches the house. Whitney runs around the house and finds her gun; she clumsily loads bullets and hides in a closet.
Ronaldo shows up with cookies and is the next person shot.
Whitney tries to text her sister, but the wifi is out again! Bella has a 6th sense and heads to the lake house anyway because she can tell something is off. Bella shows up and is held hostage by Brad.
Whitney finds herself in the storm cellar and tries to escape the storm doors, but they are stuck. Whitney then grabs a knife and removes the vines that have grown over the doors.
Bella calls to her sister to run and get help, but Whitney stays to help her sister. Brad holds Bella hostage in exchange for the wallet and fires a warning shot. It scares Whitney into giving in. (Shoot, if that were my sister, she’d be a goner.) Brad tells the sisters that Laurie was dangerous and he was helping them by killing her. While he rambles on and on, Whitney sets an alarm on her phone to cause a diversion.
Whitney rushes to free her sister, and as she is untying her, Brad is back with the gun. Whitney lies and tells him she will split the money because she loves him. Brad realizes she is lying, but Whitney takes her shot while he is confused.
Without saying it, Bella admits to killing Al to free her sister from her abusive husband. Whitney keeps it to herself and doesn’t tell Holden. He is happy to learn she will stay in town a little longer. Whitney donates most of the money to a holocaust memorial.
Side Note/Stray Thoughts
Lindsey Hartley is still the queen of Lifetime, but this wasn’t it!
Any NFT talk, and I’m out!
Numbers of Kills: 🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪 (5 knives)
Enjoyment Level (1-5 scale)
🍷🍷 (2 Glasses of Wine)
Should you watch it?
Pour it up! (Give it a shot)
Put a Cork in It (Skip It)
What did you think of the movie? Let me know in the comments or on social media @LifetimeUncorked & @patrickmiguel
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