Stalker’s Prey

This movie feels like the creative team at Lifetime put a bunch of topics into a hat, pulled two out, and then were forced to write a movie about 1) a  Stalker and 2) a Shark Attack. MAKE IT HAPPEN, TEAM! And boy oh BOY did they make it happen. I want to call 911 and tell them about this movie because it’s an emergency if they haven’t seen it yet.

We start with a mom coming home to find her house with lights off and the front door open. After looking around, she finds her youngest daughter Chloe asleep in bed, but can’t find her older daughter Laura. She quickly puts it together and finds Laura and her boyfriend Nick making out in his truck (it’s one minute into the movie and I’m already seeing a shirtless barely-teen boy, so if it’s this ridiculous already, it’s only going to get more insane). They both get yelled at, Laura gets grounded for sneaking out and her other recent bad behavior, etc, so now we know the family dynamic. The kicker is that Laura is grounded for her BIRTHDAY which is like mom, come on.

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Laura (right) being a teen and sneaking out with BFFs Parker (left) and Brie (Middle)

Whoever cast Laura did a perfect job because this girl is TOTAL TEEN – I’m talking pink tones in her hair, she mumbles, and she’s really good at calling stuff “weird” when it makes her uncomfortable (I love teens, and this is one of my favorite qualities about them!). Laura, being total teen, sneaks out to hang with her friends on her birthday. She’s with Brie, her bff, on the wharf and they see a new hot guy on a boat. This is probably unimportant, right? GOD, NO! How many times do I have to tell you that all hot dudes in Lifetime movies are important??? Brie and Laura wave and giggle at how hot he is, meet up with their other friend Parker, and then try to find Nick. Laura can’t find him, so she tells her phone to “Find Nick” and she is shown where he is on a map. That’s also probably unimportant and never going to come up in the movie again, right? DEAR GOD, OF COURSE IT IS IMPORTANT SO REMEMBER IT.

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“We’re TEENS”

Turns out Nick is throwing a cute little surprise party for Laura on a boat whose owner we never find out (seriously, Nick says it’s not his but never tells us whose it is, a beautiful plot oversight that keeps Lifetime being Lifetime). After some romantic kissing and fun, Nick and Laura get in the water. Nick had previously scratched his leg on something, so he’s bleeding, and we all know that blood attracts sharks…so it’s shark attack time! Whoever’s cousin they hired to do their shark animation did an actually okay job, I’ll give them that. The actual shark attack itself makes no sense – the shark bites Laura’s waist out of nowhere, leaving the equivalent of three branch scratches on her stomach so she’s FINE (no teeth marks, no innards falling out), but then drowns and eats Nick. Just as the shark is about to attack Laura again, another boat

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appears out of nowhere and a man pulls her out of the water to safety on the boat. Who’s this man? None other than the hot guy from the wharf, of course!

Laura is sent to the hospital and hot guy is named a hero. Actually, his real name is Bruce Kane which is a Lifetime Man™ name I cannot get behind – totally wrong generation and not common enough to remind you of some random cute boy from high school but legit reminds me of my dad (probably also because that’s literally my dad’s name!). After he’s interviewed by the local news, Bruce sneaks back onto the boat that Laura and Nick were on and takes Nick’s phone, so yeah, we know almost immediately that this dude is TROUBLE.

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“Here, wear this weird necklace because I saved you from a shark”

While Laura is still in the hospital, Bruce watches her while she sleeps, and he can do this because he’s a volunteer there (he has every profession, as we soon shall see), so again, he’s a creep. When Laura is out of the hospital, Bruce stops by her house to drop off a belated birthday present – a fancy but unnecessary necklace – and also invites her to a fundraising party as his date. She makes it clear to him that she’ll go but just as his friend because, uhm, HI HER BOYFRIEND WAS EATEN BY A SHARK NOT EVEN A WEEK AGO. He says he’s fine with that…for now…

On the day of the event, he sends over a dress for her to wear. Laura’s mom thinks this is super romantic, but it’s NOT – Laura and I are on the same page here. Dudes, DO NOT do this – it’s a weird control move and you don’t know if that silk tight dress will look nice on us or show off our bellies, but we do, so like CHILL.

The fundraiser goes fine – we learn that Bruce’s dad is a senator (of course!), Bruce didn’t tell his parents that Laura is just a friend so they keep referring to her as his girlfriend, the newspapers are there taking lots of  photos of Laura and Bruce together, and Laura freaks out when she sees people playing in the water thinking there’s a shark, so she appropriately has PTSD.

After this shark-scare, Bruce and Laura go back to his place and they end up talking about exes. Bruce apparently thinks about his ex EVERY DAMN DAY which on no planet is sweet and should have raised red flags immediately. In fact, Bruce accidentally calls Laura “Ally” so we can assume this is the exes name. But what’s the deal with the ex? My money’s on that she’s dead.

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I have a lot of red flags, but these abs balance it out, right?

They decide to go swimming to lighten the mood, so Bruce casually lets Laura borrow a metallic one-piece (AGAIN, RED FLAG!!! Why would he have this?!?! This looks good on MAYBE 5 people on this planet) and they end up making out in the pool and Laura stays the night. Laura wakes up and sees Bruce in the next room talking to someone we are to guess is Ally, but we don’t actually see her. The classic kissing and creepy moment combo, what a pair!

The next day, Laura and younger sister Chloe are chilling at the beach (I guess her PTSD of the beach is all better now?) and Bruce arrives to give her flowers – but Laura is confused, how did Bruce know where to find her??? (HINT HINT THE PHONE!!) Bruce is so lame – he doesn’t even change the ringtone on Nick’s phone that he’s carrying to track Laura, so it rings right in front of Laura and she’s MAJORLY suspicious. She clears up to Bruce that while last night was fun, she’s not in a place to be dating anyone right now and needs some time and space (because. her. boyfriend. was. eaten. by. a. shark. a. week. ago!!!!) Bruce does some solid fake smiling to this and then does some legit terror screaming back in his car. He then listens to a voicemail of Ally, so yeah, safe to assume she’s hardcore dead, but I’m still guessing here.

Laura returns to school and immediately walks into a hallway of people looking and gossiping about her. Turns out the newspapers at the fundraisers ran photos of Bruce and Laura and implied that they’re dating so now everyone is saying Laura is a slut and Laura is mortified.

Remember how Bruce has 23235141 jobs? He’s somehow become the SUBSTITUTE ENGLISH TEACHER for Laura’s class! I guess he’s accredited? And the old English teacher SUDDENLY had a “bad fall?” This is never confirmed but I’m pretty sure Bruce helped with that fall… Parker, Laura’s friend, thinks Laura is moving on too quickly with Bruce and says mean things about her in English class while mouthing off to Bruce – FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT.  Bruce is ticked but fake smiles through it all…

…for now. Bruce wants to be with Laura, but that’s not working. Laura has turned him down a few times, and now Parker has mouthed off about him in front of the class, so Bruce needs to take control. How? He ATTACKS PARKER IN THE LOCKER ROOM WITH A BAT and then takes his wallet to make it look like a mugging. But he wants Parker to know it’s him (because he’s a controlling crazy man) and makes sure Parker sees his watch. Parker is well enough to come to school the next day, and Bruce makes sure to do a not-so-subtle threat, just in case Parker didn’t get the message from the bat yesterday.

While Laura is at her locker getting shit from her schoolmates about rumors of her dating Bruce, Brie accidentally lets slip that Laura and Bruce did, in fact, hook up and her classmates hear. So now there’s confirmation to her schoolmates, and Laura is pissed at Brie for letting it slip.

Laura’s mom likes Bruce so much that she hires him to BABYSIT CHLOE (his 3463436322 job of the movie). So for those keeping count, Bruce is at Laura’s school and now her home, so there’s really no escaping him despite the fact that she’s turned him down multiple times. The babysitting job is even worse because the mom gave Bruce a key to the house, so yeah, now there’s literally no boundaries for him to contact Laura. So Laura walks in to her house pissed off at Brie and finds Bruce waiting and playing with Chloe. Bruce again won’t listen to Laura saying she needs space, but does listen to the fact that she’s pissed off at Brie, so now he’s going to get payback for Laura…

How? BY HITTING BRIE WITH A CAR WHILE SHE’S ON HER JOG. Again, they paid some money to do the special effects to make it look like she really got hit, so yeah, kudos again to whoever’s cousin did that.

Once Laura hears that Brie has been hit with a car, she’s positive that Bruce is the one doing all of this. I always love when the Lifetime women are done taking shit, and now it’s officially the Lifetime Tipping Point™ for Laura. She tries to do the logical thing by telling the police, but of course they don’t listen (“No One Listens to Me” Theme!!!) When she leaves the police station, Bruce is outside waiting for her because of the damn tracking on the phone, and he shoots his shot one more time, asking her to go out with him and she’s still like nah.

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This scene makes me wish I slept cuter because you never know who’s watching!

We have another scene of Bruce being creepy by breaking into the house and laying in Laura’s bed while she sleeps, so there’s that. In the morning, Laura realizes that Bruce has been in her room, tries to tell her mom, but the mom isn’t having it – he’s a senator’s son, he’s an angel! (No One Listens TAKE 2!)

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Ally’s sister doing her best at having no facial expression while telling really emotional news.

Now that Laura knows for sure that Bruce is a creep, Laura tries to make things right with Parker by explaining that she and Bruce aren’t together, she still misses Nick and she needs Parker’s help to stop Bruce. They decide to travel to Ally’s family’s house to see what the situation is. Ally’s sister is confused to learn that Laura heard Bruce talking to Ally because ~Ally’s been dead for years!!~ (spooky voice). Looking over to the family photos, we see that Ally looks EXACTLY like Laura! If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that it’s the same actress with a different wig! (It is.) We learn that Ally died four years ago in a car crash – turns out she was dumping him right after prom because she was getting ready to go to college, and he lost it and crashed the car in anger!

Laura had left her phone at her house to charge, so stalker Bruce stops by to see her and is pissed to learn that she isn’t where her phone indicates. He even snaps at the mom which isn’t very senator’s son of him! He sticks around stalking outside until Laura returns home with Parker and Bruce flips out. He accuses Laura of sleeping with Parker which she 1) isn’t and 2) doesn’t matter because she’s not with Bruce! To make things okay between them, Bruce forces Laura to go on a date with her, and Laura agrees because she has an idea… stay tuned.

Before the date, we see Bruce hunting for the shark that attacked Laura – he needs to kill the shark in order to be the ultimate hero for everyone, so in case we needed another quick reminder that Bruce is crazy, there ya go!

On the date, Laura does some solid flirting with Bruce and plays into reminding Bruce of Ally. She gets him so comfortable that he admits that he hurt Brie because Laura was mad at her, oh snap!! Laura and Parker are smart – they had been recording Bruce admitting his crimes and run away!

Now, I’m not quite sure why they didn’t immediately go to the police because frankly, that’s what you need to do when you have a dangerous stalker on your trail, but I guess that would have been too easy and we still need a dramatic all-out fight for the end. So Laura goes home after the date, hears some noises and gets nervous. She sees a car parked outside, goes to investigate and finds Parker MURDERED INSIDE THE CAR!

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She’s freaking out and realizes she left the house door open with Chloe inside and knows Bruce must have gone in there. He’s on a rage after that stunt on their date!! Upon going back inside, she sees that Bruce broke her phone so she can’t call the police (I guess this is why we need landlines still) so she grabs a knife (YES GIRL). They have a bit of a showdown – turns out Bruce came to “forgive” Laura for filming him to turn him into the cops on their date. Laura plays along for a while, but then sees the moment and stabs Bruce in the leg!!! But it’s not enough, Bruce is awful and jabs at her stitches from the shark attack, she starts seriously bleeding, and he takes her out of the house, stuffs her in a car, and drives back to the marina.

In the most perfect bookend way, Bruce decides he’s going to feed Laura to the shark – I guess if he saved her he can also kill her in the same way? She’s tied up on the boat and he’s dropping some mad food into the water to attract the shark. While he’s throwing food overboard, Laura manages to get free and grab the harpoon gun (I guess Bruce was still planning on killing the shark after the shark eats Laura. He still needs to be a hero after all!) She shoots Bruce with the harpoon gun which hurts him but doesn’t kill him, so we end up with a hide and seek fight on a tiny boat. Laura tries to lock herself in the tiny boat room and finds a shrine to her and Ally, and part of that shrine includes a freaking MANNEQUIN in a red wig and the same dress and necklace that Bruce wanted Laura to wear earlier. So even with 5 minutes in this movie left, I’m reminded that he’s honestly the creepiest dude on planet Earth.

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Bruce breaks into the room, so Laura has to run again, but not before grabbing the special necklace. In a final effort, Laura dangles the necklace overboard, Bruce freaks out and jumps to grab it, dragging Laura overboard with him. The combo of their blood along with all the food Bruce was throwing in before brings back our beautiful CGI shark! Laura and Bruce fight and push a bit, and Laura ends up getting back into the boat in the nick of time – all of a sudden, Bruce is eaten by the shark and dies!

And with the second shark attack of the movie, we wrap up the film! I’m honestly so impressed by how they managed to fit stalkers and shark attacks into one movie (not to mention multiple car accidents, stabbings, classic mother-daughter drama) so I’ve GOT to give it the full 10/10. Move this to the top of your watch list now.

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