Murder Runs in the Family (2023 Lifetime)
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Writer: Lauren Greenwood
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Art therapist Wren is returning to her hometown after not seeing her adoptive family for over a year. But when she arrives at her childhood home, she discovers her mother dead in the bathtub. In the wake of this devastation, Wren is reunited with her dad, Paul, and half-siblings, Kayla and Brody, along with an unpleasant neighbor. As Wren attempts to navigate her grief, she can’t shake the feeling that something is not right; between Paul’s drunken nighttime apologies, the neighbor’s intimidating double-speak, and Brody’s erratic behavior, Wren sees them all as suspects. In search of the truth, Wren unlocks the key to not only her adoptive mother’s death, but her biological mother’s as well. Could her investigation uncover deadly family secrets? Stars Laura Lieben, Bryan J. McHale, Eric Wigston, Connor Suart, and Lorelai Carey.
Runaway Bride, Wren rushes back home to her family for the first time since leaving her man at the alter. Her sister Kayla urges her to hurry the F up. It is too late because someone is murdering her mother and throwing the body in the bathtub. A rude neighbor named Mia is leaving the house when Wren arrives. Wren finds her adoptive mother in the bathtub and calls for help. A detective questions her and gives useless facts. (54% of people die in their own homes.) Wren’s birth mother was one of them; she also died in the house next door. Wren’s neighbors adopted her after the tragedy.
Wren’s father interrupts and is a mess, crying and carrying on. He is confused as to why his daughter is home. So is her brother, Brody. (He randomly comes in out of nowhere.) It is a sleepless night, and Paul cries and talks in his sleep. The following day, Brody wants to pick up their little sister Kayla. Wren offers to help and is surprised when Brody says he is Kayla’s REAL brother. (They don’t speak like that in this family.)
Wren’s ex-husband, Oliver, checks in on the family. He helps take care of Kayla as she reels from the news of her mother’s death. They even go on a walk in the park. Oliver tells Wren not to worry about the past with their relationship. (but maybe he isn’t entirely over things.)
A WASTED Paul cries and shouts at his children. He is particularly harsh towards Wren since she has been MIA for years. Paul cremates the body without telling Wren; it is one of the many ways he intentionally others Wren from her siblings.
Wren is a therapist and can’t help but psychoanalyze Kayla. (Much to Brody’s disapproval, even though it is just some art therapy. It seems harmless to me.)
Oliver still lives in the home that Wren and he made when they were married. Wren stops by and makes herself at home. Oliver frantically tries to keep his ex-wife from seeing a picture of them together that he cut the eyes out of.
While trance-like, Wren draws a photo of a body in a bathtub and is very disturbed. So is Kayla when she finds the drawing and decides NOT to pursue art therapy.
Then, she goes to her mother’s flower shop because she is the only person Julie trusts. The neighbor Mia works at the shop and plans Julie’s wake. (Wren is suspicious of Mia’s intentions. She asks Paul about what happened to her birth mother.) When she doesn’t get answers, Wren goes to another neighbor and learns that her birth mother also died in the bathtub!!!
At Julie’s wake, Paul and Oliver stand by a bunch of flowers and have a secret conversation. Paul wants to leave “the firm” to Olivier instead of Brody. Paul gives Oliver some drugs to deal with Wren.
Broady sees the whole thing and knows something is up, too. He tells Wren that Mia has been siphoning off money from the business into an offshore account.
When Wren tells Oliver, he asks her not to make a scene. He pours her some wine (mixed with the drugs) to calm her down. It has the opposite effect, and Wren yells at Paul and Mia, accusing them of having an affair. Oliver puts her to bed, creepily strokes her hair, and kisses her.
The next morning, Oliver makes Wren breakfast in bed and claims to have been taking care of her. Wren remembers nothing from the evening and apologizes for everything, and they kiss/have sex, rekindling their romance. It doesn’t last long; Oliver tells Wren the truth about Paul and Mia.
When Wren threatens to go to the police, Oliver forcefully stops her. She runs to the police station, and Oliver chases her the whole way. The jerk police officer doesn’t take Wren’s information seriously. He kicks her out of the office and tells her to go back to the city.
Understandably, Wren is on edge. She uses a garden gnome to defend herself at all times. (Haha, not really, but she does use it as a weapon!)
Wren finds all the evidence she needs. The drugs, love notes between Paul and Mia, and puts everything in a backpack. Oliver chases after her in a parking lot. She beats him off with a pipe while he screams about being more a part of the family than she will ever. As he yells, someone else beats him to death.
Mia is next on Wren’s list, and she basically goes over to just call her a homewrecker. (I love that!) Then she finds Paul drunk at home and begs Wren not to tell Kayla about his affair with Mia.
Wren drugs Paul, and he starts speaking the truth. He and Sonya, Wren’s birthmother, slipped during an argument and hit her head. Brody comes home and finds Wren. She starts to tell him what Paul told her, but Brody knocks his stepsister unconscious.
Paul and Brody argue as Wren comes to. She is tied up in a bathtub. Brody stands over her and admits to killing his mother. He did it because Julie was going to turn Paul in for killing Sonya. Paul tells them that he is Wren’s real dad, and Brody wacks him with a bat. The commotion gives Wren a chance to escape.
Broady almost strangles Wren to death, but Kayla saves her sister. The cop shows up and is still a jerk, but he NODS IN APPROVAL.
One year later, Kayla and Wren make up and re-open the flower shop as a art therapy studio, and they name it SISTERS!
Side Note/Stray Thoughts
I’m not sure what Brody’s motivations were; I guess it was money. Didn’t really pay off for me.
VERY Canadian pronunciation of “Mum.”
Numbers of Kills: 🔪🔪🔪 (3 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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