Trapped by my Father’s Killer (2017)


Trapped by my Father’s Killer Storyline

Diana Ratlidge has not been able to recover emotionally from the double murders of her wealthy businessman father Max Ratlidge and her fiancé Brian Turner – Max’s protégé – five years ago in the garage of the family home. In addition to other evidence, it was largely Diana’s testimony that convicted Louis Allen, the groundskeeper, who is serving a prison sentence for the murders. Diana still lives in the isolated and expansive house on her own in needing that connection to her father and Brian. Although she is the logical person to take over Max’s business, she has taken a leave of absence from work in her inability to cope. Her biggest supports have been her nightclub owning brother Chris Ratlidge, Chris’ wife Trudy Ratlidge, and the family lawyer Martin Loring, who she started dating after the murders. To help her move on with life, Martin and Chris, who is half owner, are trying to convince Diana now to sell the house. Diana has to relive the murders all over again when Louis escapes from prison, although all indications are that he is heading in the opposite direction. Those indications are incorrect as Louis is able to sneak into the house undetected and hold Diana hostage. However, he doesn’t seem to want to kill her or exact some sort of revenge against her, but rather have her help him find the real killer, as unlike she testified and truly believed at the time, she would realize that she didn’t actually see him pull the trigger if she really remembers back to what she saw. If Louis is able to convince her both that he means her no harm and did not commit the murders, they will have to go through the evidence, some of which still sits at the house, while eluding those that are after him, like the police, and the actual murderer who may be someone closer to the Ratlidge family and who would have had greater motive.—Huggo

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Trapped by my Father’s Killer Movie Reviews

lacks tension

Diana Ratlidge (Lindy Booth) is haunted by the murder of her wealthy businessman father Max Ratlidge and her fiancé Brian Turner. She lives alone in the family mansion. Her testimony convicted the groundskeeper Louis Allen (Craig Olejnik). He escapes from prison and takes her captive. He maintains his innocence.

It’s a simple premise but even simple premises need execution. It’s highly unlikely that Louis escaped 100 miles away and still be wearing his orange prison jumpsuit. It becomes a two person play for the most part but the story lacks the subtle writing needed. At its most basic, the audience needs to question his guilt or innocence. Without any mystery, the story flatlines. It lacks the tension that the movie so sorely needs. There should be less evidence. At least, the video should be less clear. We need to question whether Louis is trying to gaslight Diana. Also if they can’t write cops right, they should leave them out of it. It would be better if they’re absent. This should be Hitchcockian but the filmmaking is nowhere near that level.

Plot holes

The writing of the story is the biggest problem with this movie. The acting was decent.

In the story, time stood still for 5 years. (If he spent 5 years in prison, it’s been at least 6 or 7 since the murder.) This is a common writing flaw in all kinds of movies where life seems to start with the movie’s opening scene and little consideration to how the character got to that point.

The convict’s daughter still hasn’t been adopted. The phone charges and holds the charge after 5 years. Have you ever tried to charge something that has been dead for a few months? No, you’re lucky if it works while plugged in. And we’re talking 2010 or so technology. The son’s financial problems have survived 5 years despite being in serious trouble at the time of the murder.

Someone would have noticed that Brian didn’t put his hands up. The cops would have done more to protect Diana and her brother wouldn’t have ignored her for over a day while she was captive.

OK, we all know TV movies struggle to be realistic, so let’s go with what we have left.

Right away they eliminated the one I would have thought would be the best twist as a suspect – Dianna. Booth played that kind of part at least once in Cry Wolf. They established too quickly reasonable doubt that the convict didn’t do it. Who is left? They focus on one person and ignore someone with equally likely, if not more motives.

Nevertheless, despite everything wrong with the plot, I enjoyed this more than most trapped-with-a-killer movies. I’m probably biased because Lindy Booth is probably my favorite actor. The idea that her captor didn’t do it is somewhat interesting for a plot development and we quickly identify with the two people who eventually start working together.

At the end of the movie, another point where time stood still – Dianna walks back in to her father’s company, now hers, and takes charge after 5-7 years absent. Not possible. And has she been lying around her room in a stupor drinking wine for 5 years?

This could have been a real thriller, but……

Caught this on Lifetime the other night and wish I hadn’t. The acting was horrible. Story was a credible whodunit, though. Diana, a wealthy socialite, loses both her father and fiance to a murder by a man, Louis, who worked for the family that she testifies killed them both. But did he, really? Louis escapes from prison to prove his innocence and pays her a visit holding Diana captive in her own home. Will Diana learn the truth about who the real murderer is and will Louis clear his name? You will have to tune in but the movie loses momentum in the middle and I really lost interest by the end and didn’t care. Would not watch again!