Lizzy Borden Took an Ax (2014)

ghost month 2014

What a weird little film. I’m not surprised at all that this is a Lifetime film.

Have you ever seen the horror films that Lifetime puts out? For a television station that likes to put out fluffy romances and melodramatic help, my kid wants to be an alien movies, some of the Lifetime horror movies can be oddly effective.

There’s no actual ghosts in this version of the Borden story-which is probably a good thing, because I have yet to see one centering around the Borden house involving a haunting that’s actually solid-but I feel like the noterity of the this story makes this as much a ghost story as any thing else, if we consider a ghost to be lingering energy. Did Borden really kill her parents? If she did, why? Did she really get away with murder because she was a woman? I doubt we’ll ever have a solid answer to it.

Christina Ricci plays Borden, and the movie takes a fairly definitive stance on her innocence. Ricci is actually pretty creepy in that sort of Heath Ledger, Joker, type way where you sort of half expect her to start laughing hysterically all the time. The rest of the characters are worked up into a frenzy and Borden’s sort of just chilling.

I can’t believe I just said that in a review.

The thing though, is that it works here, because of the stance that the movie takes regarding the crimes. It’s hard to be a sociopath without acting like a sociopath. Borden’s characterization is the only really solid one in the film, though. Andrew Borden is a little too hard-edged and aggressive to be believable, and while I think that Clea Duvall is probably fighting a weak script, Emma Borden is a little two stilted to be comfortable.

Is this is a good film? Shrug. It’s a made for television Lifetime film.  Some of them are better than others. But fans of b-horror know to go to Lifetime for one thing. Take it as it is. It’s certainly watchable, but this one’s not going to be a highly rated film either.

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