STUDIO: Sony Pictures
MSRP: $19.98
RATED: Not Rated
RUNNING TIME: 90 Minutes

The Pitch 

It’s A History of Violence meets the Lifetime Network! 

The Humans 

Heather Locklear, Johnathon Schaech, Gary Hudson, Derek Hamilton

The Nutshell 

Reece Gilmore (Locklear) is a world renowned chef from Boston. But when she arrives at work one day only to find that a man is inside, shooting everybody (including her) she goes crazy and escapes to anywhere but there. Her car breaks down in Angels Falls, Wyoming, where she ends up becoming the chef in a local diner, falling for the local mystery writer, and being the only witness to a murder. Now she has to figure out who dunnit, before the murderer catches up to her.

"…the hell?"

The Lowdown

The thing about the “who-dunnit?” plot is that they’re all about the main character trying to figure out the exposition. That’s already a strike against it, because badly handled exposition can break a film. The great ones survive on great characters, great performances, and great writing. Clues are dropped skillfully and picked up intuitively by the detective character, whether they’re an actual detective or not.

It was right then and there that Joseph Hamfingers decided that he’d waited
far too long for the Tuesday Special.

Angels Fall has no interest in any of that, though. Instead, the film falls back strongly on the notion that this is such a small town that everybody knows everything about everyone.  It’s that kind of small town: the kind of place where gossip rules and where people are only interested in what others are doing. They especially want to know as much as they can about newcomers, which is why we get scenes of supporting characters doing internet searches on Reece’s past. I don’t know if screenwriter, Janet Brownell, could’ve been any lazier. Then, when they confront her about it, she tells them everything they wanted to know anyway.

As for Heather Locklear, she has one expression: indifference. I’m sure most of that is from the daily injection of Botox she must take to hide her age. It makes what little character she has come across as a cold, callous, individual, when clearly that’s not who she’s supposed to be. Whether it’s recounting the night she was shot and watched her best friend die, or taking food orders, the face is always the same. Her supporting cast is a bit more expressive, but it doesn’t really matter. They’re all about as bland as oatmeal.

Back to school at the Gingerbread House.

The entire film feels like the Brownell lifted whole segments of the book and just transcribed them into her computer, without remembering that she was writing a movie and not a book. The characters are constantly talking, never slowing down for dramatic beats or just moments in the conversation where people stop talking. We’re treated to tons of verbal exchanges that were probably supposed to be witty, but due to the source material, screenwriter, director, and all actors involved, it comes across as a flat, emotionless, uninspired episode of The Gilmore Girls, without the hotness of Lauren Graham or Alexis Bledel to distract.

A clip from Wife of The Mask: Not So Smokin’ Anymore.

The Package

The picture and sound are about what you’d expect from an original television movie, certainly nothing to write home about.  As for special features, there’s nothing to choose from except for a few trailers.


3 out of 10