No Strangers or a Train, but Still a Murder

Laura Soltis and Yancy Butler in Double Cross (2007)

After James (Bruce Boxleitner) tells his wife Sheryl (Laura Soltis) that he wants a divorce it hits her hard but her friend Kathy (Yancy Butler) tries to support her especially as Kathy is currently dealing with suspecting her husband of cheating on her. It is why one night when they both had a couple of glasses of wine Sheryl suggests that if Kathy gets rid of James she will kill her husband for her. Unfortunately whilst Kathy learns that her husband, Dean (William deVry), was not cheating on her Sheryl guns him down one night as he went outside to have a smoke. But with Sheryl having done what she said she would do now expects Kathy to keep up her side of the deal even though Kathy didn't even think she was being serious.

For those who know their Hitchcock movies will recognize that "Double Cross" is heavily influenced by "Strangers on a Train", and those who also know their TV movies will know that in 2010 there was "Next Stop Murder", another movie which was also influenced by "Strangers on a Train". Now whilst there are those who will call this TV movie terrible for basically drawing on the storyline of Hitchcock's "Strangers on a Train" I like to think of it is a movie for those who probably haven't seen Hitchcock's movie, probably have no intention of watching it either and who watch made for TV movies not for great movie making but for being uncomplicated entertainment.

Barbara Niven in Double Cross (2007)

Now that is my one gripe with "Double Cross" as the way that director George Erschbamer staged the killing of Dean allowed for room to deviate from its roots and do something clever. But instead it sticks with what has been done before which basically sees Kathy shocked to discover that her friend murdered her husband, being threatened by her as she recorded the conversation and then on top of that the police becoming suspicious over Dean's death. The thing is that whilst I would have enjoyed it more if it deviated from the obvious storyline "Double Cross" still ticked the boxes when it comes to be easy viewing for fans of TV movies which includes a homage to another movie with a variation on a bunny boiler scene.

That brings me to what is the norm for these sorts of movies and that is whilst the characters are not the best written, the dialogue at times is laughable and the acting is forgettable the actors have the right look. As such Laura Soltis brings some soap opera menace to her role as Cheryl whilst Yancy Butler brings to her character a look that the pressure is getting too Kathy as she realises that Sheryl is manipulating her.

What this all boils down to is that "Double Cross" is just a routine made for TV thriller which offers little in the way of thrills or surprises. But it is also a movie which is likely to annoy fans of Hitchcock due to it being a variation on "Strangers on a Train".

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