Plot: Wendy (Sheryl Lee) operates a shelter for battered women in a small, rural town, but she isn’t often given a warm welcome. The town’s population is close knit and does not appreciate her presence, especially since she helps the local women stand up for themselves. This upsets the husbands of the women she shelters, as they believe the women should be at home, doing what they’re told. When one of the husbands is found dead, it is first thought to be a suicide, but soon discovered to be a murder. The sheriff has little to no interest in hunting down leads, so it falls on Curtis (Yannick Bisson) a young and ambitious officer, who also happens to be dating Wendy. He soon faces a real predicament, when another abusive husband is murdered and some of the evidence seems to point to Wendy. Is she gunning down the abusive men in the town, or is there more to the killings than meet the eye?
Entertainment Value: You know you’re watching a Lifetime movie when half the dialogue is devoted to how men are pure evil, a trend The Secrets of Comfort House continues. The narrative centers on a woman who runs a refuge for abused women and finds herself the suspect in a spree of murders, in a town where it seems like every husband beats up his wife. I mean, I know domestic violence is a serious problem, but this town is literally all wife beaters, so at least it makes sense that this lady would move here to open the shelter. The movie plays like a thriller, with some light romance and a real fetish for firearms. The citizens are all armed at all times and Wendy teaches the abused women how to shoot. This leads to a humorous scene where Wendy sets up a target dummy with a huge zucchini in the crotch, which of course she explodes with a well placed bullet. Sheryl Lee has the lead and is fine, but the performances overall are wooden and of course, overly melodramatic. But the melodrama is part of the fun in a movie like this, so no complaints for that. I had fun with this one, if just because of how absurd the rampant guns and abuse were, the town was like a beacon for abusive men and gun nuts. But unless you appreciate the Lifetime chicksploitation, this one is safe to skip on.
This was made for television, so no nakedness. There’s a sex scene where we discover that Wendy is a goddess in the sack, but no naked flesh. This one has gun shots and women being smacked around, so some blood is present. Not much, but a little here and there when called for. No real on screen bloodshed, but some makeup effects and you do see violence, just not excessive blood. The dialogue is melodramatic and when Wendy goes on her tirades against men, absurd and hilarious. The girl talk is humorous as well, with the usual penis related gossip and an odd conversation about Brokeback Mountain that stands out. The sheer passion behind Wendy’s anti-male rhetoric earns the dialogue some points, but don’t expect consistent wild lines. In terms of craziness, the town’s constant domestic violence and obsession with guns seems quite odd, not to mention Wendy’s intense dislike of men. But the strangest element here is a twist that happens a little over halfway through, which deflates the momentum and seems like a poor choice, as it derails the film’s pace. So pretty standard Lifetime movie stuff, but it has enough weird moments to earn a point.
Overall Insanity: 1/10