Stream It or Skip It?

Twisted Sister is Lifetime’s latest movie offering. This Friday night thriller pairs Mena Suvari (American Woman) with Joy Nash (Dietland) for a tale of sisterly love and betrayal — that is, if these two are even sisters at all! Would you trust a rando who showed up in your driveway claiming to be your long lost sister? And when it comes to Twisted Sister, can you trust this mystery to thrill and entertain you?

The Gist: Mena Suvari plays Emily, a woman who is going through it. She’s the CEO of a PR firm that her parents started — parents that have passed away. She’s also having problems in her marriage and she’s getting flack from her employees for striking up a partnership with another company without consulting everyone first. She is beyond her limit — and then something wild and maybe even good happens: her long lost sister shows up. Granted, Emily didn’t even know that Lily (Joy Nash) existed until this moment. But whatever — Emily is just glad to have someone to rely on, and Lily makes sure she’s right by Emily’s side at all times.

This makes Emily’s husband Kyle (Mark Famiglietti) nervous. He doesn’t trust Lily from the jump, and he even goes so far as to forge negative blood test results. Honestly, Kyle, imposter sister or not, that’s not going to help the trust issues that are plaguing your marriage right now. Making matters even worse is the fact that someone is clearly trying to kill Emily. What gives? Who can Emily trust? Is her sister legit, or is her scheming husband actually trying to do the right thing for once?

What Movies Will It Remind You Of?: If Single White Female was a genre, then Twisted Sister would be in that section of the video store.

Performance Worth Watching: I don’t think I can rightfully give this to anyone in the cast, because no one really goes for it the way one would hope they would. This is, after all, a Lifetime movie about a woman who has to choose to trust her lying husband or her too-good-to-be-true maybe-sister. You’d think we’d get some more drama, something at least on the level of a “What’re you waiting for?!” But as it is, Emily gets assaulted over and over again — even electrocuted! — and maintains the same exhausted demeanor throughout the movie.

Joy Nash
Photo: Lifetime

Memorable Dialogue: “Do you think all of these things going on are weird?” “Almost getting electrocuted in a hot tub is, like, one in a million. It’s beyond weird.”

Sex and Skin: None, aside from the aforementioned hot tub scene.

Our Take: Twisted Sister starts off with an interesting setup, a hook that will grab your attention: is Lily really Emily’s sister? Right? That’s something. The movie does a decent job setting up how much of a bummer Emily’s life is at the moment and how badly she wants to repair her family unit. Lily seems like a godsend. Not only is she good with Emily’s daughter, she also seems like a natural at public relations. Is this too good to be true — ?

Clearly it is too good to be true, but the movie doesn’t really take the time to explore the movie’s central mystery. Lily is perfect from the jump and Kyle starts the movie as a jerk and just stays horrible throughout. You’d expect a film like this to have misdirects on top of misdirects, as Emily gets more and more confused about who is really who they say they are. Kyle doctoring the lab results is a great example of this, but it’s kind of the only example of this. And the few misdirects there are only seem to go one way, towards implicating Kyle as the one with shady motives. It’s like half of the movie, the movie where Emily really starts to suspect Lily, was edited out.

That’s why calling this a Single White Female movie even feels like a bit of a misnomer, because we’re not really seeing Lily be aggressively possessive or creepy towards Emily. Does Lily want Emily’s life? She definitely doesn’t want her husband, that’s for sure. At her worst, Lily just seems overeager — and that’s a problem for a sitcom to solve, not a two-hour Lifetime movie that loves a jump scare and a music sting.

Our Call: SKIP IT. Twisted Sister is just half the movie that this premise deserved.

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