Plot: Renee (Vivica A. Fox) has overcome a lot in her life, including the death of her first husband, but now she seems to have things turned around. She has money and the kind of lifestyle most could only dream of, a life she shares with her beloved daughter and her new husband, Charles (Gary Daniels). He is a successful architect and their family life is good, at least until an unexpected stranger arrives at the door. A young man named Andrew (Robbie Davidson) shows up and claims to be Charles’ son, with a woman who recently died from cancer. Charles is suspicious, but Renee embraces Andrew and welcomes him into their lives, while Charles slowly warms to the idea, even as he wonders what Andrew’s real intentions are. Is he just a long lost son in search of the love of his family or does Andrew have a darker, more sinister plan in mind?
Entertainment Value: David DeCoteau’s “The Wrong” franchise for Lifetime continues with The Wrong Child, with Vivica A. Fox in a lead role and action movie legend Gary Daniels also on deck. I think DeCoteau’s work is always worth a look, but when he helms a Lifetime thriller that features Gary Daniels? There’s sold and then there’s sold, so I was sold here. The narrative is a well worn one, especially for Lifetime veterans, but has the kind of melodrama and twists to make it feel a little fresh. So yes, we have seen this all before, but given Lifetime’s formula driven approach to these movies, that shouldn’t steer you off this one. DeCoteau plays on the usual Lifetime tropes and knows when to dial up the drama, which he does often, but he doesn’t drive things into ridiculous levels of soap opera chaos, just a taste now and then. I wouldn’t have minded if things went off the deep end, but The Wrong Child offers a nice balance, a little melodrama and a little of the more grounded, traditional thriller. So however you prefer your Lifetime cinema, you can likely find some elements to like in this one. At the same time, this isn’t likely to make you into a fan of the genre if you haven’t been one before, as it does stick with the typical Lifetime elements overall. But if you’re a Lifetime thriller junkie, you should check out The Wrong Child.
The performances are about what you’d expect, unlikely to garner awards, but fun to watch and in line with Lifetime’s usual vibes. But I think having talent like Vivica A. Fox and Gary Daniels helps this movie stand out from the crowd, as their presence is likely to pull in some outside viewers. I loved seeing Daniels in this kind of role, as a shady father/husband rather than a bad ass martial artist, so that alone is reason enough to recommend The Wrong Child. His performance is fine, he handles the lack of action well and it is interesting to see him in a role outside his normal zone, especially when the melodrama kicks in. Daniels has b movie experience of course, so he nails the scenes when he needs to dial things up. Fox is competent, in line with her usual efforts in these Lifetime movies, but I wouldn’t rank this with her best work. She is more than capable and a step above the typical Lifetime lead however, so even if it isn’t her finest hour, she is solid, given the material. The cast also includes Johnny Whitaker, Robbie Davidson, and Tracy Nelson.