Lifetime TV movie review: Stalkers

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Constantly dismissed by the boys club and the judicial system’s indifference toward stalking cases, ADA Julia Winston [Jodi Lyn O’Keefe] sets out to establish a task force to track and prosecute predators before they hurt or kill their victims. A newly hired detective Diane Harkin [a bold Drea de Matteo], hiding her own domestic abuse trauma, finds herself facing similar resistance among detectives in her squad. When the two women cross paths on a case involving a woman named Jane [Lela Loren] stalked by her former lover [Mena Suvari] they join forces.

Kudos to Lifetime for showing a movie about a woman stalking another woman. There can be plenty of dangerous women out there, former lovers scorned. We’ve seen more about husbands and boyfriends in the news plenty of time, particularly using children as pawns as children for their power plays to grow stronger.

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At the start of the film, someone says to Harkin’s partner [Henry Simmons]: “Your partner’s a real peach, is she always like this?” What a super sexist way to start. She rough handled the suspect and said, “Wipe that smirk off your face.” Her partner then begins a little lecture to Harkin with “Maybe your daddy wasn’t nice to you . . .”

Pretty sure women watch Lifetime films alone. Let’s not have these sexist jokes or comments in them. Not necessary. Although Lifetime films have gotten much better and attract quality casts, they’d be even stronger if screenwriters and directors were women. They’re films about women on a network for women so why not be written by and directed by women all the time. Am I asking too much?

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Drea de Matteo turns in quite a solid and credible performance as Detective Harkin. Viewers aren’t immediately sure why she’s so edgy and personally motivated by the stalker case [besides being a woman] although that’s revealed soon enough. de Matteo and Suvari volley against each other exultantly. A bit more about the actual legal ramifications for this case would’ve been appreciated. The inspiration for this movie is Whisper of Fear: The True Story of the Prosecutor Who Stalks the Stalkers by Rhonda Saunders, a criminal prosecutor, who wrote the law on stalking in California.

STALKERS airs on Saturday night, April 13 at 8pm on Lifetime

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