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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

CHRISTIE'S REVENGE -- movie review by porfle

(NOTE: This review originally appeared online at in 2008.)

From the Canadian producing team of Pierre David (SCANNERS) and Tom Berry comes another example of what they seem to do best these days, which is to put together moderately entertaining domestic thrillers that liven up the Lifetime Channel a bit before landing on DVD shelves. 
One of the better ones I've seen, CHRISTIE'S REVENGE (2007) comes from the prolific pen of screenwriter Christine Conradt, based on a story by Julia Stan & Glenn Pineau, and fulfills its purpose of keeping us entertained for a couple of hours.

Poor Christie...first her mom walked out on the family, and now her dad has popped a cap in his own ass, leaving Christie lonely, confused, and extremely angry.  She ends up living with her kindly uncle Ray (John Wesley Shipp of TV's "The Flash") and aunt Miranda (Cynthia Gibb), which would be lovely except that Ray, whom she blames for her father's suicide, is the person she's extremely angry with. 

And with the help of a devious, money-hungry blonde named Selene (Anastasia Phillips), Christie sets into motion a complex scheme to totally ruin Ray's life.  What we don't know at first, though, is just how far she plans to go.

This is one of those movies that gives us most of our information up front and then simply lets events play themselves out, and in this case being able to predict what's going to happen next only adds to the suspense.  Still, there are a few surprises here and there, such as why Christie's father really killed himself and just how far she's planning to go in exacting her revenge.  Which turns out to be pretty far. 

It's all nicely-done and fairly involving for a TV flick of this kind, leading inexorably to a life-or-death finish that had me inching toward the edge of my seat.  Not completely up to the edge, mind you, but pretty close.

The acting is adequate as this type of story doesn't really require stellar performances.  John Wesley Shipp, whom I always liked from "The Flash" and his soap opera days (yes, I am a recovering soap-a-holic), is a solid Mr. Nice Guy type.  Cynthia Gibb is pretty good, too, although it makes me feel a little old seeing her playing the mom here--I still picture her as the plucky young ingenue.  Annie Bovaird plays Ray and Miranda's bratty, belligerent daughter Haley, who manages to overcome her "I-can't-stand-her" status when she begins to suspect cousin Christie and dig up usefully incriminating stuff on her. 

As Christie, Dani Kind does a nice job of alternating between artificial sweetness and creepy, glaring malevolence. Ironically, in the earlier Lifetime domestic thriller MAID OF HONOR, she herself played the suspicious young daughter trying to expose Linda Purl's two-faced villainess before she could wreck her family.  Here, she graduates to the bad girl role and makes it her own.

Not content with simple blackmail or even framing the hapless Ray for murder, Christie eventually reveals the sinister depth of her evil intent as it builds to its deadly conclusion while Miranda races against time to stop her.  Although the DVD box indicates that CHRISTIE'S REVENGE is being marketed as another HARD CANDY, it isn't.  It's simply a Lifetime Channel-type psychological thriller which should be aimed at the people who go for this kind of thing, because as far as that goes, this one delivers.

Buy it at


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