Monday, November 13, 2017

Lizzie Borden Took an Ax (2014)

Number Rolled: 52
Movie Name/Year: Lizzie Borden Took an Ax (2014)
Tagline: It’s time to bury the hatchet.
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Length: 87 minutes
Rating: TV-14
Production Companies: Sony Pictures Television
Producer: Teena Booth, Cindy Kerber, Michael Mahoney, Judith Verno
Director: Nick Gomez
Writer: Stephen Kay
Actors: Christina Ricci, Clea DuVall, Gregg Henry, Stephen McHattie, Shawn Doyle, Sara Botsford, Hannah Emily Anderson, Andrea Runge, Billy Campbell, Brett Donahue, Jeremy Akerman, John Dunsworth, Gary Levert, John Maclaren, Andrew Gillies, Andrew Bush, Glenn Lefchak, Brian Downey
Stunts: Randy Boliver, Melissa Kelly

Blurb from Netflix: This made-for-TV drama chronicles the scandal and enduring mystery surrounding Lizzie Borden, who was tried in 1892 for axing her parents to death.

Selina’s Point of View:
I mixed up my killers when I started watching the film, so I was a bit confused at first. I got Lizzie Borden confused with Elizabeth Bathory. If you know the story of the two killers, then you know that is a HUGE mix up. They are nothing alike in the slightest.

Needless to say, I got a much different film than I expected.

Now, normally, I like to go into a film without having discussed it with anyone first. It gives me a clean slate to figure out how I feel without any bias. In this case, my husband saw Lizzie Borden Took an Ax about a year or two ago and explained to me how he felt about it. As a result, I can’t know if my opinion is legitimate or if it was influenced by expectations.

I was unimpressed.

I do like Christina Ricci (Around the Block, Black Snake Moan, Cursed), she’s great in a lot of her stuff. I also think Clea DuVall (Veep, Passengers, Heroes), while undeniably type-cast, is rather underrated. However, I don’t think this movie did them any favors. I get that Ricci was supposed to act like an empathy-devoid psychopath, but she wound up reminding me more of Kristen Stewart (Clouds of Sils Maria, Equals, Personal Shopper) in Twilight (2008). DuVall didn’t really have that lump-in-the-throat worry that you’d expect her character to have, either.

In the end, I didn’t really enjoy what I saw. It was, however, relatively close to the actual story of Lizzie Borden; there was very little creative license taken, but it wasn’t anything special either. It definitely wasn’t enough to get me to want to watch the companion series.

Cat’s Point of View:
When we landed on this movie, I remembered that Christina Ricci (Penelope, War Flowers, Mothers and Daughters) was cast to play Lizzie; but beyond that, I’d forgotten it was a made-for-TV movie. That soon became evident when the odd scene transitions started happening at commercial break intervals.

Sudden fade-to-blacks aside, I thought the movie was fairly decent. It’s about on par for what I would expect from a Lifetime Channel movie.

I couldn’t find fault in any of the acting. The characters were compelling, and they had quite the cast assembled. Most notably, Clea DuVall (The Killing Room, Argo, American Horror Story), Gregg Henry (The Reunion, The Following, The Belko Experiment), and Stephen McHattie (The Strain, Orphan Black, Awakening the Zodiac) were stand-outs to me.

While, perhaps, not as well-known as some of the other cast members, I felt that Hannah Anderson (Reign, Shoot the Messenger, Jigsaw) also did a smash-up job in the role of Bridget. Her part was the glue that held a good bit of the movie together.

I enjoy a good period piece now and again. While I overall thought the film was fine, there was something about it that never really clicked with me. Some of it felt a bit repetitive.

All in all, I’m not sure that I’d seek to watch this movie again, but I probably wouldn’t rush to change the channel if I came across it on TV.

Speech Available: English, Spanish
Subtitles Available: English, Spanish

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 43%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 35%
Metascore - 55/100
Metacritic User Score – 6.1/10
IMDB Score – 5.8/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating2/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating3/5

Movie Trailer:

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