Handyman from Hell (2023 Lifetime)

Jodi Sweetin pulls a Drew Barrymore in Scream, in her first LMN thriller.

Handyman from Hell (2023 Lifetime)

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Cast: Jodie Sweetin, Joey Ariemma, Liliana Tandon,

Director: Cody Hartman

Writer: Jay Black

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Maggie Anderson has just separated from her husband and, as a way to cope, is finally overhauling the beautiful converted church that she had bought with so much promise just a few years ago. When she meets the sexy, skilled Nate, she feels like she’s met the man who is going to fix up her kitchen…and maybe even her heart. What she doesn’t realize is that Nate is mysteriously connected to her family and is entering her home and her life with murder on his mind. Liliana Tandon, Joey Ariemma, Kristina Horan, Steve Hofstetter, Jodie Sweetin star. (2023)

Recap/Wine Thoughts.

The movie starts in a traditional suburban neighborhood. Jodie Sweetin is getting ready for a date while talking on the phone with her friend. (This scene reminds me of Drew Berrymore in Scream. Will she be the first victim?) Jodie Sweetin is leaving her husband for a Hunky Handyman named Nate. Her friend tells her to be careful; Nate could be too good to be true. 

Jodi Sweetin Fake out!

When we first see Nate, he polishes a large piece of wood. He is unconventionally handsome and wearing a tight black tank top. Jodie Sweetin shows up and is ready to get it on. Before that, she asks him what is happening with them, which is decidedly NOT sexy. Nate tells Jodie Sweetin that he wants her to be with him for the rest of her life and, unsurprisingly, shoots her with his nail gun. Bye, Jodie Sweetin!!!!!!

Did somebody say… WOOD?

Cut to Maggie, who loves turtlenecks and recently moved into a new home. Her brother, Michael, and his wife, Harriet, live next door. Maggie is currently separated and runs an architectural business with Michael that they inherited from their father. After they leave Maggie alone, she cries in her living room. 

Turtleneck KWEEN!

Little does she know she is being watched by thee Handyman From Hell, Nate, while he shaves wood with a knife. (This guy LOVE wood.) 

He loves wood!

At the office in downtown Pittsburgh, Maggie does yoga in her office because a calmness app tells her to. Michael is annoyed at his sister’s lack of work ethic and is losing patience with her upset over the separation. 

Maggie wants to redo her kitchen and interviews potential handymen for the job; they are all comedians. (For real, someone called in a favor for some comedians to zoom in for an interview.) The bit goes on far too long and is underscored by ridiculous music. 

My guy couldn’t face a window?
He gets it, but his jokes were terrible!
The rule of three didn’t work out here! End the bit!

After realizing that her Zoom call contacters won’t work out, Maggie meets with a contractor and is annoyed that the guy is running late for his appointment. Harriett accidentally lets the cat out, and Nate happens to bring it back to them. Nate jokes about kidnapping her contractor and offers to get his stuff out of his truck and look at the plans. The contractor IS tied up and gagged in the truck.

My guy, just looks like a killer!

Nate isn’t just handy with woodworking but also a tech wizard. He hacks into Maggie’s computer and tracks her location on his phone. Then he wanders around the house, slowly unbuttoning his shirt one room at a time. Then he sees a framed news article and punches it, cutting his hand and letting out a half-hearted scream. The Nate steps out of frame, thinks about it, and takes down the shattered photo. 

Not the buttons coming undone!

Maggie watches Nate work and thinks he is hot AF. 

She asks him to join her for lunch and wraps his injured hand. As they do, Maggie shares about her cheating husband, David, and she seems more upset that he cheats with a junior associate. Nate tells her he thinks it is beautiful that she is moving on with her life and making new friends. They almost kiss but are interrupted by Michael, who disapproves. He wants to run a background check on Nate but doesn’t have his last name. Nate says his last name is “Brothers.” (Which is a terrible lie.) 

Michael pretty much thinks his sister is an idiot

Nate monologues with himself, or maybe a ghost brother. He is seeking revenge for his family for something that happened in the past. These scenes continue throughout the movie. (It is good that Joey Ariemma is so hot because I’m not into a ghost mystery.) 

The next day, Maggie and Nate share a LAME kiss. She apologizes immediately and is just generally awkward. She catches Nate in a lie, and he charms his way out of it. There is a game night, and David shows up. Maggie is reluctant to have him over but decides to let him join. They get the clue together, and that clue is “Jealousy.” Michael is a real asshole at the party, which randomly turns out to be his birthday party.

How they get Jealousy from THIS!? IDK

While cleaning up, David and Maggie reconnect; Nate can’t have that and strangles David to death in his van. Maggie thinks David ditched her and cries in Nate’s arms, and then they have sex. She says Nate is like serendipity.

Not the sexiest angle!

The sex is so good that they decide to work in the kitchen. Then Nate asks Maggie to show him her workplace. He seems very interested in the company files. Maggie tells him that all the files are locked up in Michael’s office and instead shows him some paintings in the safe that are worth a lot of money and belong to Michael.

Nate devises a plan to steal the paintings, kill Michael, and leave Maggie alone. In the next scene,, Nate has the brother tied up in his car with duct tape over his mouth. Nate rants about how much he loves Maggie and how terrible all the men in her life are. Nate cuts off Michael’s thumb to get into the safe.

Poor Michael!

Maggie notices the missing framed article and puts everything together. She does some online research and learns that Nate isn’t Nate’s brother. He is Nate Hawkings, whose father died in a construction accident. 

Acting that you are browsing the internet is hilarious.

Nate interrupts her online research and tells her who he is. He says he is in love with her. Then he fires the nail gun all over the place. Maggie is horrified to hear that Nate killed her husband and kidnapped her brother. Realizing she is in danger, she pretends to go along with it. Nate isn’t buying it and shoots her in the foot. Michael runs to save his sister, but Nate knocks him out. Maggie finds a hammer and hits him. They call the police. 

Goodnight, hunk!

The police arrest Nate, but Michael isn’t looking so good; he has a nail in his shoulder and is missing a thumb. Harriett rushes over because she tracked their heart rates on a fitness app and noticed something was wrong, 

The wife talking to her sister-in-law about their sex life all the time was weird.

Things seem back to normal, but then Maggie gets a package from the state prison. It is a wood carving that reads ” I’m Coming For You.” (Does no one check the outgoing mail in jail?!) The end!

I should have seen this coming!

Side Not/Stray Thoughts

This movie is a less successful version of A Deadly Adoption, which hired comedians and applied the Lifetime Movie Formula. This movie hired comedians and tried to spoof a Lifetime movie. (I can appreciate the effort, but I would like a heads-up. Otherwise, the comedic touches look like production oversights.) 

Michael Ian BlackVic Dibitetto, and Frank Caliendo are all well-known stand-ups who appear here. (This is unusual for Lifetime. Someone called in a favor.)

The Jodie Sweetin fake-out will upset some true TV Movie fans. I would have liked it MORE if her death scene had been more over the top since it is canon that leads are rarely killed on screen. 

Steve Hofstetter in elaborate floral prints is clearly a nod to ME in my Lifetime Movie Old Flames Never Die. 

Overall rating

 Numbers of Kills: 🔪🔪 (2 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 

Inquiries | podcast@lifetimeuncorked.com 

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*Photo Credit: © 2023 Lifetime® | A+E Networks®



  1. Nope, Patrick. You may have missed the part where Nate starts talking to his brother, Norm, who he’s out to avenge because the brother died at the construction site, not the dad, which is why when asked, he came up with the name Brothers. Makes perfect sense now why he picked it, right? I didn’t hear him say anything about his dad dying. I did hear him say his dad left him when he and his brother were quite young which is why they become so close. Just a point of correction. I did think it was a pretty good flick minus the comic shtick from the 3 wannabe contractors! LOL! Leave it to Lifetime to experiment in Shocktober!!!

  2. This is kind of random but while I was watching the movie I was wondering why there was static constantly playing in the background. Turns out it was coming from my Roblox game that had apparently froze, which I found out after the movie ended and I could still hear the static. I thought it was coming from the movie!!

  3. This Pittsburgher had to run to the internet to leave a comment. Nice nod to “Night of the Living Dead”! 🧟‍♂️🙌🏼 🙌🏼🤜🏼🤛🏼

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