Plot: Jade (Brittany Underwood) and Sara (Lexi Ainsworth) have been best friends since the sixth grade, inseparable to the point that Sara’s father has turned down jobs because Sara refuses to move away from her friend. The two are almost always together and have each other’s backs, such as Sara letting Jade copy off her tests, so they’re about as close as two friends can be. But when new girl at school Ashley (Tina Ivlev) arrives, she is quickly drawn to Jade. Ashley begins to attach herself to Jade, while also trying to put a wedge between her and Sara. After all, Ashley wants Jade to herself, so she won’t share her with Sara. This leads to some mind tricks pulled by Ashley, who convinces Jade that Sara isn’t as good of a friend as she thought. Now Sara is the third wheel, as Jade spends more and more time with Ashley, but she still calls to try to spend time with Jade, which irks Ashley to no end. While Ashley tightens her control over Jade, she also plots how to take Sara out of the picture, permanently.
Entertainment Value: This is a based on real life events Lifetime original, so you know the melodrama is intense and the dysfunction is high. I have no idea how close to the real story Death Clique is, but if you’re interested in the actual case, it involved the murder of a young woman named Skylar Neese. The story is about a new girl at school who develops an obsessive friendship with another girl, then tries to isolate her from her old friend, regardless of what that entails. The result is a lot of fun, if you’re into high levels of melodrama and dysfunctional people, but likely disturbing and sad if you’re not into those. The movie glosses over the seduction period of Jade and Ashley’s bond, so it seems a little odd that Jade would ditch her old friend so fast. A little more time invested in that aspect could have done a lot for this one. But even so, this one has ample drama and a great villain, thanks to an ice cold performance from Tina Ivlev. She is such a stone cold bitch here, orchestrating tragic turns just to close in on her prey, certain she can control the outcome. Ivlev’s performance is the highlight of the movie for sure, but the brisk pace and constant melodrama ensure it is always fun to watch. If you appreciate Lifetime style dysfunction, mean girls, or just want to see a sociopath brought to life, check out Death Clique.
No nakedness. The narrative suggests Ashley has a sexual interest in Jade, but all we see is one kiss and some close dance moves. If this wasn’t a Lifetime original, perhaps we would have gotten that Ashley sex scene, but such is life. Not much blood, but the one scene of violence is quite sudden and brutal. Ashley’s inner demon comes out and she unleashes a torrent of knife wounds, giving us a moderate amount of blood. Not graphic per se, but more intense than Lifetime originals often allow. It was the cornerstone of the narrative, so I am glad it was presented as a traumatic, memorable scene. The dialogue is a fun mix of mean girl lingo, concerned parenting, and ice queen charisma, so there’s some fun stuff here. Ivlev is a blast to watch, as she plays chess master and keeps her pawns in order, while the melodrama provides ample entertainment as well. Not a lot of home run level lines, but consistent melodrama and dysfunction, so it adds up to some solid exchanges. The main craziness here is Ivlev’s performance, as she nails the role and makes one bad ass villain. The melodrama and dysfunction also add some wackiness, but this is a Lifetime original, so that’s part of the expected deal.
Overall Insanity: 3/10