'Suitcase Killer: The Melanie McGuire Story' Review: Candice King shines in hurried Lifetime thriller
'Suitcase Killer: The Melanie McGuire Story' is a real story about a man who was found dead and dismembered in a suitcase in 2004. The Lifetime film showcases the real-life case of Melanie McGuire, who was convicted of murdering her husband in 2004 and sentenced to prison.
In the movie, Candice King plays McGuire , an amazing fertility nurse who is married to ex-marine Bill (Michael Roark). She is also an adoring mother of two boys. Melanie does the unimaginable when she falls for Brad (Jackson Hurst), a doctor at her clinic, and becomes engaged in a torrid love affair. After drugging and killing Bill, she dismembers him, stuffs the body parts in three suitcases and throws them into Chesapeake Bay. When the suitcases are discovered on the beaches of Virginia, an investigation is initiated, and Melanie is named as the major suspect. Led by the efforts of assistant attorney general Patti Prezioso (Wendie Malick), authorities eventually bring Melanie to justice, who despite being convicted, continues to maintain her innocence.
Considering this is a true story, the writing is not really up to the mark. In the beginning, you see a woman find a suitcase on the beach during a morning walk and then call the police. The movie eventually takes you to the part where Bill and Melanie meet for the first time, and shows their entire journey from when they started dating to Melanie being pregnant on the day of the marriage.
Even though this is a murder mystery with a mix of fascinating elements, you will ultimately witness sex, romance, and a cheating angle in the first half. The film shows Melanie deal with every emotion one can think of, but it does so perhaps too quickly. In a matter of minutes, it moves on from Melanie marrying Bill to him cheating on her.
Besides, the pivotal courtroom scene where Melanie tries to save herself is neither well presented nor described. This is probably the key moment of the story and deserved better - and longer - treatment.
Candice King, however, shines through the muck with an outstanding portrayal of a lady determined to establish her innocence at any cost. Wendie Malick provides excellent support with a wowing in-court performance as the lawyer. Michael Roark too does a decent job playing a man who enjoys gambling and cheats on his wife at every opportunity.
Melanie is found guilty of her husband's murder at the end of the film. However, throughout the film, you are led to believe she is innocent, which makes the ending a bit of a surprise. This film is perfect for a one-time viewing, especially if you want to watch a dramatic real-life murder mystery.