Story: Vicky (Maiara Walsh) has a lot of dreams and most of those dreams center on being popular or respected at her high school. That would be a likely goal for most high school students, but since Vicky is thirty-one years old, those dreams seem a little awkward. But her mind has taken a toll, thanks to the intense pressure applied by her mother Angie (Gail O’Grady), who views her daughter as a loser and torments her over her choices. When she tries to get a fresh start and begin night school, Vicky was mocked by her mother and deadbeat boyfriend, so she took a different route, though one that still involves going back to school. Vicky intends to steal the identity of one of her coworkers, pass herself off as a senior, and get that last year of high school, so she can achieve her dreams and make her mother proud at last.
Entertainment Value: This was a wild one, an outlandish concept executed with a straight face, even as the narrative spirals off the deep end. The story is just outrageous, as none of this could happen even in the craziest of worlds, let alone so many massive logic leaps in a connected web, but that is part of the charm of these Lifetime thrillers. I think the story is fun to watch and adds to the b movie vibes, which I always appreciate. As the narrative unfolds, things get wilder and wilder, as our villain unravels and things descend into inexplicable chaos. A wild, over the top Lifetime thriller needs tons of ignored red flags and we have those here, as everyone except for the villain seems to overlook even the most obvious signs that something is off. The pace is good and never feels slow, as the movie has kinetic flow and keeps the twists and turns rolling at a brisk clip. The tone is serious, but the elements are so outlandish, it winds up with b movie vibes and while some prefer the more toned down thrillers, I can’t get enough of this brand of out of control psycho thrillers. I had a blast with Identity Theft of a Cheerleader, it has a great villain, wacky story, and plenty of drama, well recommended.
This kind of ridiculous concept needs a capable performer in the villain role, one who can embrace and amplify the madness involved. Maiara Walsh steps into that role and nails it, which is no surprise, since she is a Lifetime veteran. Walsh doesn’t try to make the insanity around her make sense, instead she just goes for broke as our psycho and aims to entertain. I love her effort here, as it is super fun to watch since she has such enthusiasm and presence, but Walsh is also an effective villain, she could easily pull off a serious turn of this kind. She radiates unstable vibes and her outbursts are wild, so there is a genuine thread of menace with her take on Vicky, which of course enhances the entire movie, since our villain is a powerhouse. I like the scenes where she gaslights or just leaps off the deep end, but her overall effort here is just immense fun to watch. The cast also includes Gail O’Grady, Jesse Irving, Naika Toussaint, and Karis Cameron.