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Reviewing a Pair of Sinister Villainesses from "One Night Stand Murder"

A woman's quest to recall the events leading to her waking up next to a corpse ends up unveiling a twisted conspiracy in this 2023 Lifetime film

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished 4 days ago β€’ 7 min read

I had been looking forward to this film, One Night Stand Murder, for a few weeks since I learned about this movie being on Lifetime's list of September flicks. So after watching an intriguing Sunday Night Football matchup between the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots, I tuned in to this film, which started with the central protagonist, Alyssa Morgan, suddenly waking up next to a corpse, and with no memory of how she got there.

The first person she contacts is her close friend, lawyer Cindy Warren, and basically all she says is "go to the police." We do learn the identity of the deceased: Fletcher Doyle, and he's loaded. A trip to the restaurant sees Alyssa learn that a pair of employees witnessed her and Fletcher together, and they really enjoyed each other's company. It also doesn't help that, expectedly, Alyssa faced accusations of killing Fletcher, with an interview with Detective Keller increasing the suspicions against her. To make matters even worse, someone is after her.

Alyssa continues to investigate and also confides in Cindy, but she also pays a visit to Roger Feldman, who was Cindy's former boyfriend, as well as a former fling of Alyssa's. All the while, we see Fletcher's widow, Serena Doyle, on TV being the loving and grieving widow, talking about how much she loved Fletcher despite the difficulties in the marriage. We see Serena interview by Keller as well, and as for Roger and Alyssa, the heat's turned up on them as well, as the same hooded stalker appeared inside the house, with Roger chasing them away. The stalker resurfaced again, this time trying to attack the pair, but Roger deduces that it was a different culprit, meaning that there are two villains trying to plague the pair.

Roger finds himself on the receiving end of Keller's interrogation, and unfortunately, it's followed by Roger being on the receiving end of a fatal blow to the head with a crowbar. As for Alyssa, she actually went to visit Serena, which is a hell of a risky move, but it does result in Alyssa becoming suspicious of Serena, as she mentioned the two attackers. Alyssa tells Keller everything, but she's suddenly stopped by Cindy, who appeared as her representative and advised her to stop talking, while also announcing that she would be taking Alyssa to her home. Alyssa thanks Cindy for letting her stay at her house in the interim, but after Cindy leaves, Alyssa decides to look through Cindy's photo album, and sees something very surprising: photos of Cindy and Serena...together.

Alyssa's attempt to leave with the album is stopped by Cindy, who keeps her in the house and reveals that Cindy and Serena were sorority sisters. In addition, Cindy revealed that she and Serena banded together in a plot to kill Fletcher, and frame Alyssa for the crime, with Cindy drugging Alyssa and placing her next to the deceased Fletcher after he was killed by Serena. Though Cindy was motivated by money, the madwoman revealed that her true motive for her heel turn was revenge on Alyssa for her tryst with Roger. Even though Roger and Cindy were broken up at the time that the latter hooked up with Alyssa, Cindy still felt that Roger was hers, and accused Alyssa of being a bad friend by hooking up with Roger, who Cindy admitted to killing.

Serena later emerged and revealed herself as the true mastermind, venting over Fletcher's affairs and stating that she and Cindy had to set up somebody for the murder, so Alyssa was chosen. Serena was looking to gain all of Fletcher's wealth, and after Alyssa stated that the villainous duo wouldn't get away with their crimes, Serena wasn't concerned, but she knew she had to eliminate Alyssa. Just as Serena was about to stab Alyssa to death, she was blinded by a shot of pepper spray from Alyssa, which disarmed Serena, though Alyssa's attempt to go for the knife was temporarily thwarted by Cindy, but Alyssa grabbed the knife and stabbed her evil former friend in self-defense. After the melee, Serena was shown in handcuffs, having been arrested, and as for Cindy, she survived the stabbing and was also arrested, putting an end to Alyssa's ordeal.

And now, the villainesses.

Serena Doyle

Sami Nye as Serena Doyle

One Night Stand Murder aired on Lifetime on September 17, 2023, and the film featured Sami Nye as main villainess Serena Doyle. While I had Cindy pegged from the get-go, Serena was a secondary possibility. I figured it was either Cindy or Serena, so the revelation that they were both in cahoots was a bit of a surprise to me. Serena was quite the evil mastermind, and I couldn't help but be slightly amused over Serena's first appearance in the TV interview--playing up the grieving widow/loving wife persona in public. My suspicions towards Serena started right there, and lo and behold, there she is, making her villainous entrance after Cindy's reveal.

From that point, we see Serena in true villainess mode, holding Alyssa at knifepoint, blasting her husband, and revealing her greedy motive. The part that stays with me was Serena's "apology" to Alyssa. It always amuses me when villains act apologetic; "I'm so sorry to have to do this, but I have to kill you now." This was Sami Nye's second Lifetime film; she appeared as the main protagonist in 2022's Revenge for My Mother, so Lifetime didn't waste time casting Nye as a villainess afterwards. Nye truly delivered with this role; she acted out Serena's feigned grief pretty well, and when her true evil personality came to light, Nye performed quite brilliantly in regards to Serena's villainous persona.

Check out Serena Doyle's profile on Villainous Beauties Wiki!

Cindy Warren

Alisha Ricardi as Cindy Warren

Normally, when I write a review that has (at least) two villainesses, I save the main one for last. In this review, I just had to save Cindy Warren for last, as she was the main reason why I was looking forward to this film. The reason is simple. Cynthia "Cindy" Warren was played by Alisha Ricardi, and I was hopeful that this film would give us Ricardi's first villainous role in the world of Lifetime movies. Her Lifetime debut came on the online Lifetime Movie Club's Sabotaging the Squad, and she also appeared in Danger Lurking Under My Roof--both earlier this year. As the saying goes, the third time was the charm, as Ricardi turned heel in her third film with her very first Lifetime villainess role.

I had Cindy pegged even before I watched this movie. It increased when she first appeared in the beginning. Lifetime 101 says it very clear: beware the BFFs. Plus Cindy kept suggesting that Alyssa go to the police, but even then, there was that veil of friendship and concern from Cindy as well. It wasn't until Cindy offered to take in Alyssa that it hit the fan, and it's followed by Cindy removing her mask of friendship and revealing herself as a deranged and vengeful madwoman whose bitterness and anger towards Alyssa could fill up Lambeau Field five times over. Though Ricardi acted out Cindy's feigned concern very well, she truly shined when it came to Cindy's insane reveal and her villainous rant towards Alyssa.

While both villainesses donned the "hoodie of evil," I couldn't get any good shots of either of them in their attire. However, this pic is the next best thing: a shot of Cindy displaying her heel persona as she sets out to drug Alyssa during her arranged "blind date." I knew that Alisha Ricardi would really shine as a villainess if given the chance, and she proved me right. Cindy was insane, maniacal, vengeful, greedy, and opportunistic, and Ricardi played out every facet of Cindy's evil personality brilliantly. I hope this isn't the last time Alisha Ricardi plays a villainess, and I'll say the same for Sami Nye as well.

Check out Cindy Warren's profile on Villainous Beauties Wiki!

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About the Creator

Clyde E. Dawkins

I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also into film and TV, especially Simpsons and Family Guy.

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Comments (2)

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  • Canuck Scriber4 days ago

    Another great review to what sounds like a great movie!

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