The night before her mother is murdered, Alex has not-so-good sex with her boyfriend, who asks her about it the next morning. Alex reveals that she discussed it with her mom afterward, but she would never tell her dad (Cavanagh), because, as she says, he’d kill her boyfriend. Or, more likely, he’d kill her mom to teach her a lesson. At least that’s my theory.
You see, Lifetime would have you believe that this one-time, seemingly unimportant reference to Alex losing her virginity is simply a way to show how close Alex and her mom were. But I’m onto you, Lifetime. I know it was a ploy to subliminally scare kids into keeping it in their pants. Or to inspire moms to tell their daughters, “If you have sex, I will get murdered. Lifetime said it, so it’s obviously true.”
The death of Alex’s mother sets off a chain reaction of disasters which cause her life to unravel. For example:
- She has to give up running (which she’s apparently freakishly good at, since she wins a race even while distracted by a stylized memory of her mom’s death) to take care of her younger siblings.
- Her grades suffer because, as she says, she becomes “the mother, the maid, the cook and the driver,” which sounds like a perfect title for the next Lifetime movie. I think I hear someone green-lighting it right now.
- She finds out scandalous family secrets, because she’s working with a detective to find her mother’s killer. Oh, did I forget to mention that?
- Her boyfriend cheats on her with her best friend, who explains that they only got together because they spent so much time talking and worrying about her. Aw, that’s so sweet.
You might think A Killer Among Us is just another Lifetime movie about how horrible men are. Granted, this movie features a quote which I think the channel should use as its newest slogan: “When a woman is murdered, the husband or boyfriend often becomes the first suspect.” (It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?) But you’d be wrong. This movie actually fits into the only other category of Lifetime movies in existence, the cautionary tale teaching teens that sex leads to life-ruining consequences. They had you fooled, didn’t they?
I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite nonsensical moments from the movie:
- When Alex’s best friend’s cop dad interrupts their class to tell Alex what happened to her mother, the BFF thinks it’s about her new tattoo, complaining, “It’s not like I’m selling cocaine to fifth graders.” Because selling cocaine to adults is okay?
- When Alex says she might not make it to bowling (How dare she?!) because she has to look after “the kids,” meaning her younger siblings, her best friend says, “Kids? You sound like an Amish wife.” Because only Amish wives take care of their children. It’s well documented.
- Detective Moran (Kodjoe) explains to Alex, “Nine out of ten people die at the hands of someone they know.” Not nine out of ten murdered people. Nine out of ten people. The things Lifetime movies teach us.
- When Alex’s sister finds out that her mother was hurt, she complains, “Mom’s supposed to take me to swim meet today!” Ugh, Mom’s murder is just so inconvenient!
In closing, if you haven’t watched the movie yet, I’ll let you know that Lifetime isn’t complex enough for a red herring, so don’t think too hard when you watch.