Story: Kate (Sabrina Bryan) is still trying to cope with the loss of her twin sister, who was murdered in a tragic turn of events that has fractured Kate’s life. Her sister’s killer was never found and brought to justice, so she struggles to make sense of why this happened, though she also knows at some point, she has to start living her own life again. If not for herself, then for her twin sister, who would have wanted the best for her. As she prepares for her return to work as a choreographer for a television show, she is hit with another sudden loss, when her best friend Teresa (Rachael Markarian) is killed. Now Kate’s mind is moving a mile a second, as she wonders if the two murders were connected and if so, is she next in line for the mysterious killer?
Entertainment Value: A Deadly Dance tries to combine the dance competition trend from reality television with a Lifetime thriller, but the end result is rather forgettable. The story is fine and has a passable premise, but the potential is lost thanks the lackluster writing and less than memorable ensemble cast. I suppose you could just call this one mediocre or run of the mill rather than bad, but this is definitely not one of Lifetime’s better thrillers. There are some decent twists and turns, but they fizzle because the writing doesn’t do much with the reveals, so what could have been spark points to dial up the movie, instead those moments of potential are wasted. So perhaps with a sharper script to take advantage of the positive elements in the story, A Deadly Dance could have been a solid thriller, but it left me cold. I much prefer wild, over the top Lifetime thrillers however, so perhaps those looking for a basic, watchable thriller might enjoy this one more.
The cast here seems to phone in their efforts or just don’t have the right skill set for the characters, but Antonio Sabato, Jr. is on hand and is likely the best of the lot. He is certainly the star power here, with some nostalgia value, even if his performances don’t often light up the screen. He is passable here, you can tell he isn’t invested in the role and he never really goes for it, but he does outperform his less experienced costars. I think he should have embraced the Lifetime thriller campiness and gone for broke, at least that would have added some kind of draw at least. But he is watchable here and as I said before, he has the best performance in the picture. I would have loved an over the top villain to break up the otherwise run of the mill experience, but no such luck. The cast also includes Sabrina Bryan, David Blue, and Rachael Markarian.