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Lifetime Review: 'Stalked by My Husband's Ex'

Suspense, twists, and heart mix together in this stellar Lifetime thriller that keeps you on your toes.

By Trevor WellsPublished 3 years ago 6 min read

In addition to being a successful careerwoman, Kristen Carter (Alex McKenna) couldn't be happier about her romantic life. Her boyfriend Ryan Munson (Adam Huss) is sweet and doting, and Kristen has grown close with his 10-year-old daughter Lisa (Joey Rae Blair). So when Ryan pops the question, Kristen can't wait to become Ryan's wife and Lisa's mother.

But Kristen soon learns there's an obstacle in the path of her wedded bliss with Ryan: his ex-wife and Lisa's mother Nina (Juliana Dever), who Ryan left while taking custody of Lisa due to Nina's drinking problem. Now upon seeing that Ryan is preparing to get remarried, Nina is furious and refuses to lose her daughter to another woman. As Nina begins stalking the soon-to-be newlyweds, Kristen becomes more and more worried for her safety and the safety of her new family. How far will Nina's maternal obsession go?

Looking at the above synopsis, one might assume Stalked by My Husband's Ex (originally titled Another Mother) is as straightforward a Lifetime movie as its title suggests. For about half of its runtime, the film seems to be going down the set path its premise lays out. But when the action reaches its expected climax, Stalked by My Husband's Ex suddenly deviates from the formula, leading to an intense final act that goes down an unexpected route from what was advertised. Even before that, the film's story and cast displayed great potential to be an entertaining "Obsessed Ex" thriller, and thus the shocking swerve only makes matters better.

(Though pro-tip: avoid Reel One Entertainment's trailer for the movie, which is still listed under Another Mother. It not only spoils the swerve, but more or less shows the entire movie in two minutes)

Along with its surprise twist, Stalked by My Husband's Ex boasts an engaging pace. After a cold open showing just how dangerous Nina Munson is, the film takes on a steady pace that allows the viewer to stay invested while we wait to see how far Nina will go in her quest to reclaim her daughter. The story also injects a lot of heart and emotion into the film, aided by its remarkable cast. Alex McKenna makes Kristen's love for her soon-to-be stepdaughter palpable, and she and Joey Rae Blair form strong chemistry.

After playing a relentless sleazebag in Mile High Escorts, Adam Huss brings the same energy into playing the pure-hearted and fiercely protective Ryan Munson. After the aforementioned cold open shows us a hint of Ryan's history with Nina, the movie allows us to see just why Ryan is so insistent on keeping Nina out of Lisa's life. A highlight scene of Huss' is the phone confrontation he has with Nina, being among a handful of scenes where Huss allows Ryan's paternal determination to keep Lisa safe to come alive onscreen. Huss and McKenna also play well off of each other as Ryan and Kristen work together to combat Nina's stalking, with the stress of their predicament bringing them closer together rather than apart.

On her own, Blair brings an adorable charm to Lisa, while the script allows her to display more awareness than your average Lifetime child. This is one instance of Stalked by My Husband's Ex avoiding frequently-seen Lifetime pitfalls, with another noteworthy instance being its subversion of the "Useless/Dumb Cop" trope. Altogether, the main trio of actors become a great vessel for the film's deep heart as we see the love that exists within the Carter/Munson family, making you cringe as Nina becomes a threat to their happiness and cheer for them to persevere over the obstacle she poses. At the tail-end of the main cast is Melissa Ordway as Kristen's friend Sierra, who brings a quirkiness and easy likability to a somewhat generic "Heroine's BFF" role. SPOILER ALERT The fact that Sierra ends up dying trying to protect Kristen and the movie allows for Sierra's death to hold more weight than your usual "Expendable BFF" demise alleviates the damage of her moderately flat character. Spoilers Over

In her Lifetime movie debut, Juliana Dever proves to be the gem when it comes to her portrayal of Nina. While Dever revels in Nina's nuttier moments, it's her chronic self-centeredness and unwillingness to admit to her mistakes that make her a memorable villain. As much as we see her demand Ryan to let her back into Lisa's life and cry over being separated from her daughter, we also see her continue in the behaviors that resulted in her losing Lisa. Through this and her relentless stalking, Nina proves Ryan wholly right in considering her an unfit parent, and Dever brings vitriol to Nina's unrepentant selfishness.

WARNING: MAJOR Spoilers Below

Though when compared to the movie's other psychotic ex, Nina Munson is practically Mother Teresa. Like Adam Huss, Mike Erwin's previous Lifetime role was a heroic one, making his performance as the dangerously psychotic Matt all the more startling. As opposed to Nina, whose moments of raving lunacy are spaced out, Matt is full-on loony tunes from the moment he reveals himself as Kristen's true stalker. The fact that he's initially introduced as though he and his failed relationship with Kristen will simply serve as the average Lifetime heroine backstory makes his emergence as the main villain a nice surprise.

Erwin's no-holds-barred portrayal of Matt's unhinged entitlement over Kristen and his cruel willingness to harm a child just to have her back under his thumb accounts for much of the final act's intensity. While the way Matt leaves the film is marred by some very subpar effects, it leads into the standard "Happily Ever After" conclusion that works thanks to all the heart found in Stalked by My Husband's Ex. After all the Carter/Munson family went through and witnessing their beautiful bond, seeing them finally see their wedding day together is more than a little satisfying.

Spoilers Over

Even if Stalked by My Husband's Ex had gone down the expected line it drew for itself, the excellent cast and strong drama pacing would've been more than enough to recommend it. But when the script threw in a few clever tricks to spice things up and add flames to an already heated climax, a great thriller became even greater. The cherry on top of the cinematic sundae is the script and primary actors infusing the film with a deep sense of familial love that easily attaches you to the main protagonists and the danger that threatens that love. For a Lifetime obsession drama that has a few curveballs to throw a-la Killer Contractor, I highly recommend Stalked by My Husband's Ex.

Score: 10 out of 10 college photos.


About the Creator

Trevor Wells

Aspiring writer and film lover: Lifetime, Hallmark, indie, and anything else that strikes my interest. He/him.

Link to Facebook

Twitter: @TrevorWells98

Instagram: @trevorwells_16

Email: [email protected]

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