Jessica Lowndes and Grant Gustin in A Mother's Nightmare (2012)

The Girl Who Seduced the Hell Out of Him

Teenager Vanessa Redlynn (Jessica Lowndes - Altitude) has a troubled past; as a child she found her dead mother and following that has been a ward of the state, bouncing from one foster home to another with trouble always following her. It is how she finds herself transferring to Fairview Heights High School mid term and meeting Chris (Grant Gustin) who had just returned to school having been depressed after his girlfriend dumped him. It doesn't take long for Vanessa to get her claws into Chris something which his mother Maddie (Annabeth Gish - Bag of Bones) becomes increasingly concerned about and attempts to persuade Chris to finish with her especially when she learns something of Vanessa's past. Angered by being rejected Vanessa turns nasty, causing life at school for Chris to become a nightmare with things getting increasingly worse the more angry she becomes.

"A Mother's Nightmare" starts with Vanessa trying to attend the funeral of a boyfriend only to be escorted out as a grieving mother doesn't want her there, clearly blaming her for the death of her son. This is followed by Vanessa in the office of her care worker who in the space of a minute manages to set the scene that not only has the teenager been trouble with options running out for places to send her but he can't wait for her to no longer be his problem. As such when she sets about seducing Chris you can predict that not only will his life end up in danger because of something she will do but with Annabeth Gish as Chris' concerned mum you know she is going to have to save him before it is too late.

What all that really means is "A Mother's Nightmare" firstly focuses on watching Vanessa not just seduce Chris but come between him and his mum by dominating his life and with the attractive Jessica Lowndes turning on her seductive charms she certainly ends up the lethal combination of sexy, manipulative and dangerous. Secondly we then have Maddie discovering that Vanessa's version of her life is a complete fabrication and persuading her estranged husband, a cop, to try and find the truth as to Vanessa's past. All of which of course builds to the inevitable danger as Vanessa turns nasty and sets about taking her anger out on Chris. It is all pretty typical but with Lowndes bringing to life the seductive yet sick side of Vanessa it certainly grabs your attention. And to be honest whilst you suspect that Vanessa is simply trouble you do wonder whether maybe there is some thing else going on due to some of the friends she has.

What this all boils down to is that "A Mother's Nightmare" is not anything particularly new when it comes to TV movies involving seductive and obsessed teens. But this benefits greatly from the right casting with both Annabeth Gish and Jessica Lowndes doing a nice job of making their characters entertaining if in some cases a little extreme.