“ Genre: Crime & Thriller / Theatrical Release: 1999 / Suitable for 15 years and over / Director: Norma Bailey / Actors: Mary-Margaret Humes, Jennifer Finnigan, Marnette Patterson, Rel Hunt, Jessica Greco ... / DVD released 2006-06-26 at Infinity / Features of the DVD: PAL „
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Before I get stuck into writing this film review I would like to reveal a couple of things so that no one thinks that I am spoiling the film by revealing too much plot in my review. Firstly this film is based on the murder of Laurie Show back in 1991, so its based on a true story. I had never heard of this film prior to actually buying it on the off chance of it being any good when I spotted it in a local Poundland store and on the back of the case the whole plot is revealed.
Film Only Review:
Laurie (Jennifer Finnigan) has moved with her mother Hazel (Mary-Margaret Humes) to a small town in Pennsylvania after Hazel recently got divorced. One night at a party Laurie is videoing the party for an article at her school when she catches the eye of Butch (Rel Hunt) who is quite a hunk but a real bad boy and his trashy blonde girlfriend Michelle (Maranette Patterson). Michelle notices her boyfriends attraction to the pure and innocent teen which is Laurie and instead of hating her....befriends her and helps her to change her image and takes her into her confidence and clan......so it seems.
However Michelle soon really becomes bothered about the way in which Butch treats Laurie and she moves on to another boy letting it know she doesn't want Butch anymore and so he and Laurie hang out a little. One night at a party though things start to change for Laurie when Michelle walks in and catches Laurie and Butch in a compromising position and lets everyone at the party there know that she is pregnant and its Butches to which people then think that Laurie is simply a tart and people turn on the quiet young girl. However things are not as they seem (as we know by this point but I don't want to reveal this bit!).
Michelle though decides she does wants Butch and the two make it up but Michelle becomes obsessed with Laurie and starts to stalk her by following her and calling her and allsorts. However no law at this time was available to help stop this and after Laurie is left beaten up in a carpark after a date and her Mum knowing some of what happens her Mum tries to stop this hate campaign against her daughter and can't.
Michelle gets other people involved, talking about how she would kill Laurie and so on and people start to believe her but Michelle is really spiraling out of control as she loses the baby and she finds a new ali in Tabatha (Joanne Vannicola) who seems very under the spell of Michelle and would do anything for her.
Hazel decides that as her daughter is convinced that she is going to die and that there is nothing that can be done about the situation that Laurie must go to live at her Fathers but sadly with the taxi booked her mum is called into work at the last minute...meaning Laurie is home alone waiting for the doorbell to ring but its too late. The rest of the film is about the court case and finding out who exactly is responsible for the death of Laurie Show. Was it Michelle or was is Tabatha and did they get their just deserts?
Buying this for a pound in a Pound Shop I thought this would be dire and simply bought it and afterwards kind of regretted it and owned it ages before eventually giving it a go and surprisingly I have to really admit that I enjoyed this film. The acting was good from all the characters and I particularly liked the maniac that was Michelle who really did see Laurie as a rival but really wasn't. Sometimes the acting was a bit wooden but overall the film was fast paced, telling the story of bullying, sexuality and growing up very well indeed.
I did think this film would drag through it 90 minutes run time but it didn't and there was no padding out that I noticed. There was no real soundtrack to the film and I think that the rating of 15 was fair enough because there was a little bit of sexual violence, swearing and bloody scenes shown. Overall its a good little watch this one and I would recommend it if you spot it to purchase cheap because it is the sort of film you would only watch once I would think.
Google if interested and this is available from Amazon for just a couple of pounds.
This review is also posted on Ciao under this same username.
Rivals is a 1999 film starring Jennifer Finnigan and Marne Patterson as the main characters. The film is based on the true story of the murder of a young girl by an ex beauty queen and her accomplice. It begins showing how the young girl, Laurie Show met and befriended the ex beauty queen, Lisa Michelle Lambert. The friendship was short lived when the then boyfriend of Lisa allegedly raped Laurie. This resulted in Lisa becoming viciously cruel and harassing Laurie, often with the assistance of friends.
In 1991 the stalking of Laurie Show came to a head when Laurie was murdered in a heartbreaking and unprovoked attack in her own home. Lisa and a loner named Tabitha Buck, whom she manipulated, broke into the house and attacked Laurie. One of the most sad parts of the film is when Laurie's mother finds her and holds her daughter in her arms as she passes away. Shortly afterwords the two girls were arrested and convicted to life without parole.
This film is a very good , yet very tragic film to watch. It really documents how serious bullying can be. The actors did a great job of playing the characters, Particularly Marne Patterson, who plays the vindictive ex beauty queen. I would definitely recommend this film, it's always been one that has stuck in my memory.