Lifetime Movie Text To Kill Reminds Us That It’s Helpful To Have A Cop For A Mom

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Lifetime movie Text to Kill April 2015


Last night Lifetime aired another instant classic of a teen movie called Text to Kill. (Get it? Like “dressed to kill”? Oh Lifetime, you slay me!) I guessed the identity of the villain about 20 minutes in, but I'll refrain from bragging about it. I will not, however, refrain from commenting on how convenient it is that the main character in this movie has a cop for a mom. Sure does make the whole “mom to the rescue” part a whole lot easier.

This week's main blonde girl is Taylor (Emily Tennant), a high school student whose father was killed in a car accident two years ago which also killed a couple in another car. She's being raised by her single cop mom Allison (Dina Meyer). Taylor starts getting text and chat messages from a mysterious person named Truth&Lies who says they know her secrets. Her Zooey Deschanel lookalike of a friend Barb (Sarah Desjardins) gets similar messages threatening to out her, because guess what! Her boyfriend Sam is actually a girlfriend named Samantha. Sneaky, sneaky.

Taylor assumes it's her ex-BFF Hannah (Stephanie Bennett) sending the messages. Hannah and Taylor stopped being friends for two reasons. One, Taylor's dad was rumored to be cheating on cop mom Allison with Hannah's hangs-out-at-home-in-a-leopard-print-hooker-dress mom. Two, Hannah started dating Taylor's ex-boyfriend Zach (Matt Mazur). Taylor and Hannah's feud mostly consists of Hannah hurling dumb teen movie insults at Taylor like “Those pants are so last year!” Here's a little tip for people writing movies about teenagers, or anyone for that matter: No one says that.

Taylor starts to really freak out when Truth&Lies sends her a video of her and Zach hooking up in the back of a car. She assumes this is a different kind of Lifetime movie, one with “sext” in the title, so she confronts him about it. He says he got the video too and wasn't the one who sent it. Prime suspect Hannah also gets a message, this one a video of her mom taking her clothes off or having sex or trying to get into a pair of skinny jeans… The video's not very clear, but it's obviously something Hannah doesn't want to get out.

Meanwhile, there's a new guy at school named Cody (Keenan Tracey) who wears a leather jacket and has Bieber-style facial hair. He's interested in Taylor, and she thinks he's like soooo cute, but she wonders if maybe he could be Truth&Lies. He changes her mind by telling her he got a message too. His secret is apparently that he beat up a kid at his old school for raping his sister. Taylor of course swoons. I don't want to give anything away, but we didn't see him get that message, so… WINK WINK WINK. (What? I'm not being obvious. Shut up.)

All the kids who've gotten messages team up for a Breastfast Club investigation and decide that Truth&Lies is probably computer wizard Brandon (Kurt Ostlund), who was in charge of setting up the school's computer system because this movie wants to be as unrealistic as possible. They break into the computer lab, where they discover Brandon has set up a surveillance system that monitors the whole school, including the girls' locker room. And somehow nobody at this school has noticed the secret lair of computers he uses. Side note: I'm pretty sure there's only one scene in this entire movie that takes place during class. Apparently these kids go to a special high school where they spend the entire day roaming the halls doing detective work.

Meanwhile, Truth&Lies has started talking to his victims over the computer using a disguised voice that is impossible to understand. Somehow Barb figures out that he's going to share video of her kissing her girlfriend on social media. As always happens in movies and TV shows like this, everyone at school apparently has text alerts set up for whenever a controversial Facebook post goes up, because while Barb and Taylor are sitting in a pizza parlor, everyone's phones go off and they immediately start watching the video. THAT'S NOT HOW SOCIAL MEDIA WORKS!

Barb is very upset and runs away. While chasing after her, Taylor is almost run over by a car. Purposely. Although she was standing in the road, which wasn't very responsible in the first place.

Later that night Barb is alone at home feeling sad and tells Taylor not to come over. There are two reasons a sad teenager tells her friend not to come over. One, she's going to eat a carton of ice cream and doesn't want to share. Two, she's going to kill herself. In this case it appears to be number two, as Taylor's mom gets a call in the middle of the night to go to Barb's house, where her parents found her hanging dead. After the requisite crying, Taylor tells her mom about the messages they've been getting, conveniently leaving out the one of her having sex with her ex-boyfriend.

Cop Mom thinks Barb may have been murdered, and the prime suspect at this point is computer wiz Brandon. She and her partner Marco (Kwesi Ameyaw) get a warrant to search the computer lab, where they find lots of damning evidence such as Rohypnol, rope that matches the one around Barb's neck, and even a bag of Barb's hair. It totally doesn't look like someone is trying to frame him or anything, so they arrest him, but not before Cop Mom chases him through the halls and tackles him like a badass.

After a few interrogations, Marco concludes that the timelines simply don't match up and Brandon couldn't have killed Barb. Unfortunately they don't figure out who the real murderer is before Taylor leaves with Cody on a date in his very distinctive red car. Cody says he has a surprise for Taylor but has to stop off at his house first. She's all, “Yeah, sure, whatever, there's nothing weird about this at all.”

That is, until Cody starts going all Christian Slater on her and asking if she recognizes photos of his parents. After squinting a little, Taylor realizes that OMG that's the couple that was killed in her dad's car crash. Obviously Cody is Truth&Lies, and he's been doing all this to get revenge for his parents' death. Even though Taylor wasn't directly responsible, it would have been nice for her to call, you know?! The movie doesn't really explain how Cody A.) changed his name and transferred to Taylor's school, and B.) was able to dig up dirt on all her friends and do that fancy “hacking into your computer to talk to you in an incomprehensible Darth Vader voice” trick. It's best not to question these things.

Meanwhile, Cop Mom recognizes Cody's car in surveillance footage from the hospital where he stole the Rohypnol, so she rushes to his house to save her daughter. Good thing she's a Cop Mom with a gun and access to investigative resources and such, otherwise Cody might have killed Taylor. As is, she's currently taped to a chair listening to Cody's mandatory villain speech. He says he's going to kill her mom, so I guess he somehow predicted that she would figure all of this out that same night and go to his house. I mean, she did and she does, but how did he know that?

Cop Mom shows up, and she and Cody engage in an elaborate fight while Taylor cuts her way out of her binds using shards from a vase that was conveniently on the table next to her just waiting to be broken. Cody ends up shooting Cop Mom with her own gun, after which Taylor hits him, distracting him enough that Cop Mom, who was wearing a bullet proof vest, can shoot him. AREN'T COP MOMS THE BEST?

This movie has probably the least amount of resolution out of all the Lifetime movies I've ever watched. Cody is arrested, and Taylor and her mom walk out of the house smiling like they weren't just kidnapped and/or shot at. They tell each other they love each other and then the movie's over. Happily ever after.

Except for Barb, who is still dead.