Plot: Eric (Nate Wyatt) has run into some trouble of late, as his grades have started to bottom out, not to mention a recent DUI. He wants to get back on track however, so he tries to make good choice and prove his mistakes won’t be repeated. As his math grades sink into failing territory, he is approached by new girl in school Emily (Ivy Matheson), who offers to tutor him in calculus, provided he introduces her around, so she can get some social presence. His mom blames his recent slide on his girlfriend (Li Eubanks), so she is pleased to see him spending time with someone new, even if it is just to improve his school work. Eric sees an instant uptick in his grades, but Emily has started to develop a crush, to say the least. After a fight with his girlfriend, a tipsy Eric even kisses Emily, which throws gasoline on her brewing feelings. But is Emily just a friendly new face that wants to help Eric succeed or is there a darker ambition behind the bond she has formed with him?
Entertainment Value: I can’t resist a Lifetime psycho thriller and The Wrong Tutor gives us a memorable ride, not to mention a fun villain. The narrative is formulaic, but hits all the desired Lifetime thriller notes and unleashes the melodrama, which to me, is the real draw of these movies. So no, you won’t be mind bent by the twists and turns, but the movie is immense fun and sharpens the expected elements, so even moments we’ve seen time and again are still effective. Emily is such a fun villain too, as she is a sweet, reserved young woman in most scenes, then uncorks this hellish side of her persona that is so wild to watch. When she grabs that party bro by the throat, you know Emily is not someone to be trifled with. The pace is brisk and the drama is dialed up, not just with Emily either, but we have momma drama, relationship dysfunction, and school drama, a nice mix of melodrama to soak in. The movie is also smart to rein in the craziness just enough to still appeal to those who prefer a more laid back thriller, but letting loose often enough to please the melodrama fans. I had a blast with The Wrong Tutor and I have to think most Lifetime fans will as well.
A strong cast has been assembled for this one, all of whom embrace the melodrama and turn in solid performances. I also have to mention this is another Lifetime thriller directed by cult cinema legend David DeCoteau, which likely helps explain the well known cast and fun b movie vibes sprinkled into the movie. While Nate Wyatt is solid in what is probably considered the lead role here, the star of The Wrong Tutor is Ivy Matheson, who gives us a terrific Lifetime villain effort. I love that she can be so sweet and innocent one minute, then an apex predator the next, like when she takes charge of that party bro’s unwanted advances. I will say her delivery can be stilted in places, but this seems to suit her character to be honest, as she has a kind of cold presence when she isn’t lit up in psycho mode. Even the smaller roles are well performed here, I really enjoyed the cast as a whole and was surprised by how deep the ensemble was. The cast also includes Jason-Shane Scott, Ivy Matheson, Vivica A. Fox, William McNamara, Li Eubanks, and Jackee Harry, who is always fun to see.