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'Obsession: Stalked By My Lover' Review: Lifetime thriller brings its own Joe Goldberg to a satisfying justice

This movie will make you reconsider interacting with another human altogether, no matter how attractive he or she is
Celeste Desjardins as Madison (Lifetime)
Celeste Desjardins as Madison (Lifetime)

'Obsession: Stalked by my Lover' Spoilers

Lifetime is notorious for weaving stories and presenting them in a manner that would make viewers doubt even their innocent and bedridden grandparents for plotting against them. So when a random stranger of the opposite sex sends an unsuspecting naive young woman a request on a roommate finder app, you know sh*t's about to go down. In your classic guy-cons-girl's-family-for-his-monetary-benefits story, the latest Lifetime 'Thrillogy' presents its first part in the form of 'Obsession: Stalked by my Lover'. The title is pretty self-explanatory, while the designation bad guy and protagonist do exactly what one would expect them to do. Predictability doesn't even begin to cover the plot which is basically Netflix's 'You' but minus whatever redeemable charm its anti-hero Joe Goldberg brags of. 

When an armed robbery gets interrupted and goes horribly wrong, our studboy extraordinaire Blake (Travis Nelson) has to think of quick ways to afford his sister's bed at a psychiatric facility and pay back a dangerous handler who's been hounding him for money. So Blake does what any remotely charming man would do and hunts down the nearest damsel in distress. Well, not really. It starts off with him pulling a gun on his next-door neighbor at a motel as he has to look for a place where he can while the time away and how opportune would it be that the gorgeous Madison Turner's (Celeste Desjardins) roommate is moving out without any notice right at that time. Madison has a difficult relationship with her elder sister who allegedly abandoned her after their parents died. The only people she is really close to are her grandparents because it becomes clear she isn't all that fond of her boyfriend either. Things kind of pave the way for Blake into conning Madison as he becomes her flatmate first, and soon turns into her love interest. Blake does what Joe did in Season 1 of 'You'. He pretends to have a girlfriend, stalks Madison's current boyfriend Dylan and kills him soon after he starts getting jealous because obsession is the key element of the plot and cognitive thought process isn't a thing in their worlds. 

Trevor Nelson as Blake (Lifetime)

Blake's main agenda is to con Madison's sister Evie Brotman (Kelly Hope Taylor) who is resplendent and has enough to solve his monetary woes. Of course, Madison doesn't see this stranger's intent right from the start even though one of the first few words he had asked her was when does she prefer to shower. The gullible Madison soon starts putting things together and it is only after a steamy fling does she find out who Blake really is. She still wants to risk her life to hand him over to the cops and even her stern elder sister can't stop her from making the blunder. The confrontation scene is just a fair few seconds of grunting and screaming where Madison calls the cops on Blake on the eve of going away on a skiing trip. He could have run away, instead, he lands in prison but not without trying to make viewers feel really bad about his fate because he truly loved her even though he was going to destroy her life. The only respite here is that Blake, your not so refined Joe, gets the justice Netflix's 'You' has consistently avoided giving its protagonist. In Blake's punishment lies comfort for all those viewers who are left beyond frustrated by the number of murders Joe gets away with.

Steady camera work tries to assert the intensity of the plot but the background score makes it difficult to take anything more seriously than The CW drama 'Gossip Girl' on the seventh rewatch. Desjardins is unnecessarily too seductive in her act to pretend to be the unintentionally smoking hot girl next door. Nelson's work as Blake is pretty much an actor limited by the available prospects for playing out a role. It's not really his fault. Taylor's Evie is your classic Karen, from the haircut to the mannerisms and the fact that none of this is intended to be ironic makes her a treat worth watching out for. There is, however, a menacing look from Blake as he arrives at the prison, right after Madison ominously claims how happy she is to put him behind in her past. Considering this is a 'thrillogy', there's ample reason to expect a prison break and Blake returning to ruin Madison's life once again. If nothing, no matter how fickle the thriller gets, Lifetime succeeds at providing a wonderful, vapidly shallow cure for a Friday night in quarantine. You can't step out of the house and here's a movie that will make you reconsider interacting with another human altogether, no matter how attractive he or she is.

'Obsession: Stalked By My Lover' will air on Friday, July 10, at 9 pm only on Lifetime Network.