Familiar in the House
Following an accident, Wayne (John Novak - Killer Photo) has been left in a wheelchair and pretty much waiting to die as he has become increasingly bitter. It makes life difficult for his daughter, Jade (Emmanuelle Vaugier - Love in Paradise), as having gotten married to Marco (Matthew MacCaull - Heart Felt) she feels guilty for hiring Samantha (Jordana Largy - Happy Face Killer), a care giver, so that they can go on their honeymoon. Much too Jade's surprise when she returns her father is not only a changed man but he has married Samantha, causing Jade to fall out with her father. But when Wayne dies in a suspicious fall and Samantha is in line to inherit everything Jade sets out to prove the gold digger murdered her father.
Some times a movie is so obvious that you begin to question whether it can really just be that obvious. "Stranger in the House" is one of those movies which works the storyline of the care giver seducing the older man she is suppose to be looking after and then he dies not long after they are married. In this case it tries to add to the doubt as not long before his death Wayne had a blazing row with a former business colleague over money but it doesn't really stop you from thinking so the hot care giver did it?
The thing is that those who have made "Stranger in the House" have done so seemingly with the intention of making you question the movie's obvious nature. You immediately wonder whether maybe Jade's husband Marco is actually in cahoots with Samantha especially when Jade decides to involve the cops and the detective is played by Dan Payne. That in turn makes you wonder whether the detective is involved in some master deception and what about that angry businessman. And there are other things which make you question who Jade will be in danger from come the end of "Stranger in the House".
What is nice is that whilst "Stranger in the House" sets itself up in an obvious manner it doesn't wait till the end to do a big reveal, it drops in clues along the way causing you to become more intrigued as to how this will end. Okay so in delivering these clues as well as twists it becomes a bit cheesy but these almost groan moments make you smile. In fact there are many smile moments in "Stranger in the House" such as Samantha's transformation from someone who covers up when Jade first meets her to someone walking around the house in figure hugging yoga gear as she seduces Wayne.
What this all boils down to is that "Stranger in the House" is actually an enjoyable Lifetime movie as it plays to its audience knowledge of these types of movies and so delivers something seemingly obvious but in a way which makes you question it.