Plot: Casey (Caitlin Thompson) was dumped by her boyfriend in public, but she isn’t about to let it slow her down, especially since the coolest girls in school just invited her out for a girls’ night. The girls plan to go to a 21 and over club, so Casey is looking forward to scoping some more mature men, though having to lie and use a fake ID is a little out of character. She meets a handsome gent at the club and enjoys a night of passion, only to discover the next day that he was a client, who paid for the pleasure of her company. As it turns out, the cool girls are part of a prostitution ring and Casey is the latest to join their ranks. At first she is shocked and horrified, but after her parents have a huge fight and she feels alone in the world, she goes back to the girls and picks up more work. The money is easy and she loves the sex, but she dislikes not being able to control which dudes she spreads for. This creates some conflict and when she wants, her police officer pimp advises her to do as she’s told. Will she stay in the escort lifestyle or can she find a way to escape the sex-for-hire world?
Entertainment Value: This teens-turned-prostitutes tale is of course a Lifetime Original, which means minimal sleaze, but high melodrama. As if high students working as hookers wasn’t enough, Walking the Halls also works in domestic violence, infidelity, and corruption, so quite a lineup of dysfunction. As always, the girls cast as teens seem to be around 30 and that is quite humorous, I think. The narrative is fine, with an emphasis on drama over effective storytelling, but you want an exaggerated tale of woe when you sit down for a Lifetime movie, right? I do think some choices made about Casey are a little odd, as she seems to be a level headed young woman, but she instantly embraces the prostitute lifestyle. She has her “come to Jesus” moment of course, but how easily she rolled with the sex with strangers, especially one that looked like Jim Henson, was a little off. The cast is passable, with the typical mean girls obsessed with status and money, then we have Jamie Luner as a scorned woman losing her entire life it seems, while Al Sapienza is the cheating husband. The real draw is the melodrama and this one has it in spades, in both the teen prostitute and broken marriage threads. I do wish this could have been a little sleazier, as the potential to really take things over the top is here, but this is Lifetime, so that’s unrealistic. If you appreciate overly melodramatic dysfunction in that signature Lifetime style, give it a shot.
No nakedness. There’s some violence at times, but no blood. The main conflict is of course men beating up women, as this is Lifetime, but the violence is brief and never graphic. The finale is tense and ratchets up the atmosphere, but don’t expect a wild, violent conclusion. The lack of sexual sleaze is a hard pill, as this narrative is ripe with potential, but again, this was a Lifetime Original, so to expect rampant sleaze is just setting yourself up for disappointment. The dialogue is typical Lifetime fare, mean men and troubled, confused women arguing and dealing with life’s problems, but not a lot of memorable lines creep in. Luner has some fun moments as the frantic mother, but not enough to earn multiple points. In terms of craziness, the premise is rich with potential, but the movie stays within usual Lifetime guidelines. I do think the Jim Henson client and the slimy old man who wants a threesome add some quirk, not to mention how easily Casey accepted her fate as a sex worker. So a little wackiness, plus the Lifetime melodrama and dysfunction, but not much else.
Overall Insanity: 1/10