Lifetime movies love to throw a twist at you. They love it almost as much as they love single moms, parking garages and the age 17. In my time writing about Lifetime movies for Crushable, I’ve seen quite a few twists of various kinds. I’ve seen twists in the middle of a movie and at the end of a movie. I’ve seen twists that change the entire story and twists that just kinda change one little aspect of it. Some of them work for me, and some of them don’t.
I think it’s about time time we just went over the best and the worst examples. Personally, in order to call a twist good, I have to not see it coming and/or not roll my eyes at it when it’s revealed. So without further ado, I present the best and worst Lifetime movie twists of all time. Oh, and by all time I actually mean in my viewing experience. But all time sounds more epic. Also I’m the only person who exists in the universe, if I’m not mistaken.
P.S. Spoilers lie ahead, obviously.
We might as well start here, since it just aired a couple of weeks ago, and I had 22 reasons to see the twist coming but still had no idea. The movie’s about a woman who learns she has a long-lost twin. The husband has an affair with her, lots of drama ensues, and at the end it turns out there was no twin, and it was the wife fooling him all along. You win this time, Lifeitme.
I spent most of this movie going, “Meh, meh, meh,” and also thinking about what a great show Gossip Girl was, because Rufus and Lily were in this. But then the ending happened and the whole thing was suddenly really exciting. The gist is that there are two sisters, and the entire time you think one of them is evil, but at the last second you realize it’s actually the other sister’s nightmare, and the one you thought was good all along is the bad one.
This one revealed a big twist pretty early in the movie, but there were more after that, so I didn’t even care. A mother is traveling with her daughter to college, but they get separated when the mom is kidnapped. Only it turns out her daughter has been dead for two years after being murdered! Dun dun duuun. The mom goes through the movie killing low-life men and eventually she picks up a guy on the side of the road who turns out to be her daughter’s killer, and then he tries to kill her. It was a wild ride.
This one is all about a young woman whose mother is murdered, and who teams up with a detective to find the killer. By the end we learn that it was actually her creepy father who committed the crime. On Lifetime, if dads exist at all, they’re probably murderers.
5. Sexting in Suburbia
I watched this movie before I started writing reviews, but I had to include it here because it’s just so classic. A girl sends a scandalous photo to a guy, and of course it ends up going around to everyone in school. The humiliation leads the girl to kill herself, and her mom spends the rest of the movie seeking justice. Who let the photo spread like that? Turns out it was her classmate’s mother. I will never be over this movie.
This one is filed under “worst” because I realized the twist was coming about halfway through, and everything that happened after that seemed ridiculously obvious. A teenage girl thinks her social media has been hacked into, and it loses her friends and basically makes her life a living hell. Turns out it was her mom doing it the whole time, in the hopes that the daughter wouldn’t leave her to go to college. If only Daryl Hannah hadn’t acted so obviously evil the whole time.
2. Starving in Suburbia
I feel like a movie trying to examine the serious and horrifying effects of an eating disorder shouldn’t just throw a twist in there to wake up the plot, but this one did just that. We spend the whole movie following a teenage girl and her struggles with anorexia, all while a mysterious person online tries to save her. Then at the end we learn that person was her brother, who also had anorexia and who ends up dying. It just felt cheap to me.
This one gets filed under “worst” because this movie was so mind-numbingly boring that I don’t think any twist could save it. An alcoholic lawyer tries to win back her reputation by defending a woman she believes has been wrongly accused of murder. She wins the case, but then it turns out the woman fooled her, and she actually did commit the crime. If only I could be bothered to care.
4. Zoe Gone
Whether this one qualifies as a twist is debatable, but I have to put it on here because it angered me so. After spending an entire movie watching an annoying teen mom try to find her kidnapped baby, and finally getting her back, we learn that the girl doesn’t want to keep the baby. So she gives it up for adoption. Was that probably the most responsible decision? Hell yeah. But I just watched her try to get the kid back for two hours!
5. Gone Missing
The twist in this Lifetime movie is that the girl who’s supposedly “gone missing” is really just wandering around the beach all night until she trips on her deadly wedge sandals and breaks her leg somewhere her family can’t find her. Until they do, and they have a reunion that’s way too dramatic for what’s just happened. No kidnapping, no murder, just really dangerous platform shoes.
That’s right, even Lifetime Christmas movies have twists sometimes. This twist is quite possibly the worst of them all, because ever since The Wizard of Oz you’re sort of never supposed to use it. That’s right, it was all a dream. A woman trips on the sidewalk, goes unconscious, and dreams that a mannequin comes to life and dates her. And then she wakes up and learns that it never happened. Sadly, I’m not making this up.