Every Mother's Worst Fear (1998)

Jordan Ladd in Every Mother's Worst Fear (1998)

Internet Ignorance

With her parents having got divorced and her mother Connie Hoagland (Cheryl Ladd - Vows of Deception) working long hours her daughter Martha (Jordan Ladd) is often left to her own devices. To make matters worse when her mother is home she does the caring mother bit and forbids Martha from going to a concert in Detroit with her boyfriend which leads to him dumping her. It in turn leads to Martha spending a lot of time on an internet chatroom where she ends up agreeing to meet the guy she has been chatting too online. What Martha doesn't realise is that she has fallen foul of a paedophile who has lured her to his home and now her mother has to try and rescue her.

Technically "Every Mother's Worst Fear" is a made for TV thriller but I reckon calling it a horror would have been just as apt. It's a horror because this is a movie which whilst has been made to make parents and children aware of the dangers on the internet and online predators has been done so to scare the crap out of people into thinking the internet is full of depraved sickoes. And it is also a horror because it is shall we say a bit poor with poor dialogue, poor acting and a poor script with several failures in logic.

Cheryl Ladd in Every Mother's Worst Fear (1998)

Now I can't be too tough on "Every Mother's Worst Fear" as the basic intentions are good. On one hand it wants to highlight that there are dangers online whilst also highlighting how naive parenting can lead to these issues being worse as we see that Connie has no idea of what Martha is doing online and barely understands computers. But it does all this in such a less than subtle way that it borders on being laughable with it really going over board in trying to stoke up the fear of the internet. It is also laughable when it comes to how Martha manages to get into a secure chatroom and a lot more, falling typically foul of not being realistic in its presentation of how computers work.

There is also the fact that the acting is wooden and whilst I like Cheryl Ladd she plays the part of the oblivious mum a little too over the top whilst Ladd's real life daughter Jordan struggles to make the dialogue sound believable. It is not just Cheryl and her daughter that are at fault as the casting of Ted McGinley as an online paedophile mastermind just doesn't work from the minute we see him lurking behind a monitor.

What this all boils down to is that "Every Mother's Worst Fear" has a story which needed to be told but it needed and still needs to be told in a much more authentic and believable manner as this ends up unsubtle and at times laughable.