Plot: Rebecca (Clare Kramer) and her husband Brian (Tilky Jones) have just moved from New York from Los Angeles, a serious lifestyle shift to say the least, but at least they’ve found their absolute dream home. As they settle in, the family starts to unpack and prepare for a small gathering, at which they plan to host their new neighbors and get to know people a little. But the night before, a mysterious pizza order arrives and while he didn’t request it, Brian agrees to pay the bill, only to have unwanted Chinese food soon arrive as well. He shrugs it off as a prank, though an expensive one and shifts focus back to the next night’s event. The pranks continue however and become more sinister, such as plastering flyers claiming that Brian is a suspected pedophile, which causes him immense problems at home and at work. As tensions rise, the pranks only escalate and soon, the couple begins to buckle under the pressure…

Entertainment Value: This is a fun one, a Lifetime thriller that is overloaded with the usual elements and dials up the melodrama, not to mention provides some outlandish moments. The narrative is overly complicated, as the villain is revealed early on as a woman who is irritated that her mother’s home has been sold, but why she would be driven to these lengths is bizarre. But she is a fun, unhinged villain, so common sense and logic are not concerns in this situation. I love how she escalates at such a blistering pace, as she ramps up from pranks calls to deliver pizza to ruining the life of the husband, without hesitation. This kind of Lifetime thriller needs a strong villain and The Wrong House delivers on that front. The husband fares better than most Lifetime men, as he isn’t presented as a total buffoon, while his wife is a little unstable herself and not the cookie cutter Lifetime heroine. I have no clue why he would ever go back to her after how she reacts, but this is Lifetime, so no surprise that a wife/mom is given a pass on some ridiculous actions. A brisk pace, some nice twists, a capable villain, and some shake ups in the Lifetime formula put The Wrong House a cut above the crowd, so fans of Lifetime thrillers shouldn’t miss this one.

As the movie doesn’t keep the villain and her intentions a secret, it allows Allison McAtee to come straight out of the gate with the craziness, which she embraces and dials up to super fun levels. She works her evil magic from more of a distance than most Lifetime villains, but she also conveys the proper unstable presence when she is around in person, especially during the therapy sessions. I love how she justifies all of her lunatic actions and seems surprised that someone would object, as she sees even the nastiest of plots as mere pranks. I’d hate to see what she would consider beyond a prank, given her level of escalation here. McAtee is just a lot of fun to watch here, as a perky psychopath and I just wish she was in more scenes. I also like Clare Kramer here, partly because her character is so impulsive, but watching Kramer try to balance the shifts in tone is also real entertainment. I think she’s one of the least likable Lifetime “good girls,” but that is good in this case, as the character is so odd and I have no idea why even a dullard like her husband would take her back. The cast of The Wrong House also includes Tilky Jones, Thomas Calabro, and of course, everyone’s favorite Parks & Recreation star, Jim O’Heir.

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