Is There a Killer in My Family? (2020)


Is There a Killer in My Family? Storyline

True-crime author Carly and her husband Kevin take a vacation at a historical mansion on Crawford Island. Kevin thinks it will be a chance for them to reconnect, but Carly plans to research the puzzling unsolved murder of Diana Crawford.

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Is There a Killer in My Family? Movie Reviews

Good Old Fashioned Murder Mystery

Let’s start by saying my review for this is based on a Lifetime movie scale. That being said, I think I would have enjoyed it regardless. In fact, it didn’t seem like your typical Lifetime made for TV movie, more like something the younger me might read then older me rented from Blockbuster to watch on a rainy Saturday night. That’s because it’s not-thus the name change. (Is there a Killer in My Family vs more appropriately named Island of Shadows). This Canadian production uses its dreamy seaside landscape paired with aged rustic architecture, and thickets of tangled trees to its fullest potential. Something about it reminded me of my favorite Hitchcock film-Rebecca. Solid murder mystery. Nice twists. Not completely unpredictable but wrapped up nicely in suspense and intrigue. It held my attention and that’s saying something. I think what worked for me is the strong female lead character and that it was well realized by Anna Hopkins. It’s a definite standout from their regular line-up. I was left wanting more- in a good way.

no stakes for too long

In 1937, a woman screams in Crawford Island, New England. True-crime writer Carly Travers is vacationing with her husband Kevin at the Crawford manor and starts investigating the unsolved murder of Diana Crawford.

It’s a Lifetime movie mystery. The lead actress is fine. Her husband is annoying. The mystery is fine but there are no stakes at the beginning. It starts too slowly and takes too long to put her in danger. Somebody should be threatening her as soon as possible. The biggest stake seems to be her marriage. There is an angered local woman but she’s not enough. It does turn into Scooby Doo at around the halfway point. The last act starts with a revelation which would be better served as the starting point. She should be an heir coming to claim the ancestral home. That is always good for some kind of family dysfunction. The first half is too slow and it never recovers.

Stick with the Nancy Drew Mysteries

A mystery/thriller this was supposed to be. But instead, it was a big disappointment with a lousy ending. Mrs. Shullivan and I went into it knowing that this was a Lifetime made for TV presentation, and yet we left our guard down and decided to see how the movie’s mystery progressed. I won’t give away the ending but trust me, it’s shallow and disappointing.

The film’s dramatic music theme is constant, and yet there is no suspense what so ever. The acting was decent enough but the story line is shallow and worthy of a high school play.

I give it a 5 out of 10 IMDB rating.