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Villainess Review: Sarah Elsworth (Killer Competition)

A Lifetime film regular finally delivers her first villainous role in this 2020 thriller.

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished 3 years ago Updated 3 years ago 4 min read
Cristine Prosperi as Sarah Elsworth

On November 1, 2020, Lifetime gave us Killer Competition (aka Top of the Class), which centered on main protagonist Nicole Ward and her plans to become valedictorian and attend her dream college, Westbridge. However, she had an academic rival of sorts in the form of Victor Miller, who was the ex-boyfriend of Nicole's best friend, Sarah Elsworth, and had the same exact goals as Nicole. Sarah decided to convince Nicole to switch Victor's essay with a forgery to increase Nicole's chances, and as a result, Victor received a failing grade.

Later on, Victor is found deceased, an apparent suicide, though it was later revealed that he was killed. The news spooked Sarah and Nicole--the latter of whom was interviewed by detective Hector Ramirez regarding Victor's death, and afterwards, Sarah showed Nicole a site that helped her forge the essay, with the IP address leading to a library. The girls are almost run down while driving, and another student, Ryan Mubarik, was attacked by a hooded assailant and run over by an oncoming car, with the attack coming after Ryan confronted Nicole. Speaking of which, Nicole found a hoodie and hammer (the weapon of choice) inside her own locker, leading Nicole to conclude that she was being set up.

Nicole did become the center of suspicion, but it was revealed that the handwriting on the forged essay matched that of her teacher, John Sheppard. Her attempt to contact Sarah about Sheppard saw Nicole discover that Sarah had been abducted, with Sarah informing Nicole to meet her at the school alone. Nicole arrived and discovered another top student, Jenna McKay, in a hanging position, as she was held captive by the true mastermind: Sarah.

Sarah, while possessing a hammer, not only revealed herself as the killer, but she brought out Sheppard and revealed him as her co-conspirator and lover! Wow! The reveal, of course, is followed by a very good villain rant from Sarah, where she voices her jealousy of Nicole and her perfect grades, and accusing her and other "legacy" students of holding her back, with Sheppard adding that had been held down by legacies in the past. Sarah killed Victor after his essay was forged, and they later worked together to go after Ryan and Jenna. The deranged Sarah also accused Nicole of being selfish and not even considering Sarah's chances of being valedictorian, and regarding her overall plan, Sarah stated that she would kill Nicole and set her up as the killer, with the added claim that Nicole killed herself out of guilt over her murderous actions. She later boasted that she would become valedictorian as a result, and would easily get into Westbridge due to surviving a rampage committed by a maniacal villainess in Nicole, while Sheppard would write about the murders and become famous.

What Sarah didn't count on was the school's alarm, which Nicole informed her villainous former friend about right before it went off, prompting Sarah to escape after making her attempt to kill Jenna, who was saved by Nicole. Sarah's escape attempt failed, and she was shown during the film's final scenes inside her prison cell, holding a GED application.

Again, wow! So I actually saw the non-Lifetime trailer to this movie (which was under the aforementioned original title), and it did give away Sarah as the villainess, so after that, I was eagerly excited for this film to hit Lifetime. The reason is simple: Sarah Elsworth was played by Cristine Prosperi, an actress who I've wanted to play a villainess for a long time. Prosperi is very familiar already due to her years on Degrassi: The Next Generation, but she is also known to us Lifetime movie fans as well, as she has done six Lifetime films--with 2019's The Wrong Cheerleader being her most known movie. As a wrestling fan, I am familiar with the term "white-meat babyface," which describes the purest and most heroic of heroes. Prosperi played a lot of those characters in Lifetime films, so to see her finally come through with a heel turn in a Lifetime film was awesome, and as I knew she would, she played it well.

Regarding Sarah, she was very conniving and immensely fiendish; I absolutely loved her. Even before her ultimate reveal as the film's villainess, Sarah was shown to be not so moral in comparison to Prosperi's other Lifetime film characters, but once she was unveiled, Sarah showed her true colors as a jealous and ambitions murderess who definitely knew what she wanted. Prosperi played both sides of Sarah very well; pre-reveal, she was supportive towards Nicole. Post-reveal, she was viciously sinister, cold, and calculating. In all, Prosperi shined during her first time as a Lifetime film villainess. Let's hope that she plays more Lifetime baddies in the future!

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Click here for Sarah Elsworth's profile on Villainous Beauties Wiki!


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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