‘Deranged Granny’ Review: Psychological rollercoaster about maniac that performs evil deeds to shatter a family
Wendie Malick playing the antagonist granny is a one-man army and she excels in showing the domineering and tempestuous traits that will smack you in the face as a killer when you’d least expect her
Spoilers for 'Deranged Granny'
The image of granny personifies love, nurturing and selflessness. However, Lifetime’s latest suspense thriller ‘Deranged Granny’ produced by Stephanie Rennie and Amanda J Strachan busts this idea by portraying an overbearing and obsessive Granny who can go to any lengths to have her grandchildren. Powered by the remarkable acting of Wendie Malick who plays Barbara Anders (Granny), the movie is full of the vile tactics that she performs to get close to grandchildren.
Barbara’s maniac tendencies reflect right from the first scene. She vilified the doctor who could not save her grandchild when he was born. While the doctor made all efforts to save him, all that he got, in the end, was "murderer" written in red color on his car. The viewer is jolted at this moment and is set for a psychologically rollercoaster ride piloted by the demented granny. In fact, we learn that Barbara is the reason her son Ethan (Josh Ventura) and his first wife end their marriage as the old woman pushes the couple adamantly to have kids and take any measure — surrogacy or adoption after they lose their first child.
Later, in the movie, it is revealed that Ethan falls for Kendall Thompson (Amanda Righetti) who is a divorcee with her two kids, Amy and Bobby. While Kendall is a jewelry designer and a busy woman, she is also a doting mother who takes great care of her children and smoothly co-parents them with ex-husband, Calvin Thompson (Dave Baez). When Ethan and Kendall get together, Barbara sees this as a golden chance to quickly infiltrate into the family by using immoral tactics to win over Kendall’s kids. Not only she tries to distance the kids from their biological father but gets on to Kendall too. She lures the kids with her famous baking skills — pies and homemade cookies, and even gives them ostentatious gifts like gadgets and takes them to fun trips to museums. In no time, she wins over them and manages to cut the time they want to spend with Calvin.
What more? The plot has murky vignettes where the granny plays her vicious best, poisoning people, spewing lies and showing her monstrous side. Carving a successful plan to find a place in the family, she soon becomes the heroic lady while concealing her surreptitious deeds in the veil of compassion. What next? The granny turns into a complete gory woman when she kills a member of the family and is on the verge of killing others. Wendie Malick playing the antagonist granny is a one-man army. She excels in showing the domineering and tempestuous traits and will smack you in the face like a killer when you’d least expect her. However, there are moments in the film where one can empathize with her yearning for grandkids, thanks to the wonderful direction of Jennifer Liao for articulating the dichotomy of traits in her.
In all, ‘Deranged Granny’ is a grisly tale of obsession about a psychologically devastated personality that can shatter a family to pieces if gone wrong. This is heralded in the cliffhanger where the granny is in jail for her deeds but still can’t give up her want for a grandkid. She incessantly sews hundreds of garments for her future grandkid where her eyes sparkle with joy when she hears the news that she is going to be a granny again. However, the film leaves us with the question if she could ever be accepted again given her lunatic nature.
‘Deranged Granny’ releases on Saturday, September 12, at 8 pm ET on Lifetime.