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Lifetime 'Girl in Room 13' Review: Anne Heche's last movie about human trafficking is a WINNER

The movie tackles the subject of human trafficking and involves a lot of little details about the heinous crime not a lot of people know
Anne Heche (Janie) and Matt Hamilton (Burt) in 'Girl in Room 13' (Lifetime)
Anne Heche (Janie) and Matt Hamilton (Burt) in 'Girl in Room 13' (Lifetime)

In recent years, Lifetime has turned out to be one of the most-watched networks in the US and keeps on adding more customers because of the intriguing content they provide to the viewers. Apart from intriguing stories, it also has a history of releasing projects that talk about a problem that’s been plaguing society. The network’s upcoming movie ‘Girl in Room 13’ is another brave addition to that list and sees the late star, Anne Heche, playing a mother who’s trying to find her daughter who has been kidnapped in broad daylight.

Based on actual events, ‘Girl in Room 13’ begins with Grace (Larissa Diaz), a young woman who has just returned after going into rehab for addiction. She has been clean for a month now and has started to work in a restaurant. Before getting into drugs, she was a great swimmer and won national championships three years in a row, but some bad choices in life made her take the wrong path. One of her life’s bad choices was Richie, her ex-boyfriend who introduced her to drugs. Now that she’s out and having a great life, her mother Janie (Heche), her new father Burt (Matt Hamilton), and step-sister Toni (Erika Bruci) is trying to protect her from the bad influence.


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Larissa Dias as Grace in 'Girl in Room 13' (Lifetime)
Larissa Dias as Grace in 'Girl in Room 13' (Lifetime)

However, things go downhill once again when a girl working in the restaurant tries telling her that she should go and meet Richie because he is really missing her. Grace knows that’s a bad idea and doesn’t go. When she thinks that Richie has changed, she finally agrees to meet and that meeting turns out to be a nightmare for her.

The film is primarily based on the issue of Human Trafficking and how the state also helps the culprits in doing this heinous crime. In one of the scenes, when Grace finally manages to get out of Richie’s captivity and tells a woman to call her mother so that she can go home. However, a few moments later Richie arrives and we get to know that the woman was a part of this syndicate. That’s a reality because Human Trafficking is a $150 billion industry and there are a lot of people involved who earn through such a heinous crime.

Anne Heche in a still from 'Girl in Room 13' (Lifetime)
Anne Heche in a still from 'Girl in Room 13' (Lifetime)

As far as film is concerned, a gripping story and sharp direction are two of the strongest points of this crime thriller. Maria Nation, who has written the story, has managed to show the brutality of the crime through her screenplay while Elisabeth Rohm didn’t shy away from showing those brutal moments on the screen so that viewers get to know the magnitude of the crime. When it comes to acting, Anne Heche has given one of her finest performances in the movie and it’s so unfortunate that a tragic accident took her life. But her performance is genuinely moving and takes you through the miserable feeling of a parent who doesn’t know where his/her kid is.

On the other hand, Larissa Dias is a revelation here. Her performance takes the movie to a whole new level. The way she shows her vulnerabilities is really amazing and throughout the film, we get to see different layers of her acting skills. Truly, a phenomenal job by Dias.

Larissa Dias as Grace in a still from 'Girl in Room 13' (Lifetime)
Larissa Dias as Grace in a still from 'Girl in Room 13' (Lifetime)

Max Montesi as Richie is great as well and viewers will genuinely hate his character for doing such atrocities on Grace. Meanwhile, Matt Hamilton and Erica Bruci are great in supporting roles.

All in all, ‘Girl in Room 13’ is one of the strongest Lifetime movies in the last 10 years and it’s all because of great writing, good direction, and superb performances from Heche and Dias. It’s brutal, but it also makes everyone understands how young girls are lured into this and sent into the world of the unknown for doing illegal acts. The most common type of trafficking is sex trafficking, where girls and women are sold to people for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

Heche would have been so proud to see the final cut and the kind of impact it will have on the minds of viewers.

‘Girl in Room 13’ arrives on Lifetime on Saturday, September 17, at 8 pm EST.