Plot: Laura (Shannon Doherty) sits in a courtroom, on the stand recounting the story of her daughter Sarah (Matreya Scarrwener) and her relationship, one that took some sad and tragic turns. At a wrestling meet, Sarah jeered one of the athletes in good spirited mischief, only to get his attention in ways she never expected. After she returns home, she has a friend request from Rob (Callan Potter), the young man she heckled, who is also a star athlete and one of the most popular kids in school. She is surprised, especially when he asks for her a date and soon, the two are arm in arm and Sarah seems thrilled with all the attention. Laura is also happy to see her daughter with such a handsome, popular boy and can she how excited Sarah is with her first love. But soon Rob starts to show a quick temper and lashes out at Sarah after she shared some poetry he sent her, knocking her to the ground. He apologizes and while she is stunned, she accepts and the two continue to fall deeper for each other. As his temper flares more often and in more aggressive ways however, those around Sarah begin to grow concerned, even if she is unable to separate from Rob.
Entertainment Value: No One Would Tell is a remake of a 90s Lifetime thriller of the same name, which was based on a true story and while some updates have been made, it remains close to the actual events. And sadly, this kind of tragic story remains relevant even decades later. The narrative is grounded and believable, one we’ve heard too many times in real and in this movie, the melodrama is present, but the tone is always serious and straight forward. This treats the subject matter with respect and given the tragic, all too real content involved, that makes sense. And No One Would Tell is well crafted and delivers an experience Lifetime fans should appreciate, with just enough melodrama and rock solid production values. This is a more polished, refined type production than some of the wilder thrillers on the network, so again, perhaps the nature of the material was what inspired that approach. The narrative does feel a little rushed, but overall the pace is fine and the script does what it can to present such a gradual process in a capable time frame. I appreciated the brisk pace on the whole, especially how little was wasted despite some solid, frequent character development. I do wish we had more time between Laura and Sarah, but otherwise this a competent thriller. Fans of Lifetime should appreciate this revisit of an old school network classic.
The marketing for No One Would Tell is centered on Shannon Doherty, which makes sense since she has the most star power from the cast, but she isn’t in the central role in the movie. She has an important role as Sarah’s mother and is part of some crucial scenes, but her screen time is middling at best. But Doherty performs well and conveys the “pleaser” persona she is tasked to do, while also coming off as a loving mother who regrets seeing her own past repeat through her daughter. I think she does her job well and her name recognition should help No One Would Tell pull in more viewers than it might otherwise. The actual lead here is Matreya Scarrwener, who is excellent and shines in a difficult, complex character. She is able to show the naive, blinded side of Sarah and slowly evolve it into fear and even terror, but doing so well with just the right balance of emotion. This could have been an easy role to take into total melodrama, but that doesn’t happen. Callan Potter does dial things up into melodrama, but given that he is an insecure, hot headed sad sack, that makes sense. The cast also includes Mira Sorvino, Chanelle Peloso, and Sarah Grey.