Hidden Gems: Dark Desire

A million months ago, Eryn and I live-chatted during a screening of the Lifetime Movie Network’s romantic thriller, Dark Desires (here’s the trailer!). If you don’t have anything to do for the next 15 minutes, I highly recommend that you read our live-chat, in which we cover everything from the ethics of reading your roommate’s sex emails, how to sexily build a gazebo, whether we should try watching Hallmark movies for a change, and our frustrations over denim capris worn by anyone who is not Mary-Kate or Ashley Olson in the early 2000s.

lifetime 1

Our protagonist/eventual villain actually says this

LD:
Hello Eryn!

EK:
Hello Leann!
You ready for dis?

LD:
Welcome to our first Lifetime Movie Network live blogging!
I’ve been ready since Will and Kate: A Royal Love Story
(BTW, I haven’t started the movie yet. Just let me know when you’re ready)

EK:
Let’s do it! Press play in three, two, one…

LD:
Go!
WAIT
I’m a BIMBO. I accidentally hit the power off.

EK:
LOL

LD:
OK NOW I’M READY
First impressions: Just your run of the mill first person POV shots of stalking through the bushes and windows. This Lifetime movie is already starting off on a good note if it’s replicating a Brinks Home Security commercial.

EK:
I love that this is part of the Angst-Giving Three Day Movie Marathon.
[Two college freshmen – white, tall, athletic guys with generic Match.com profile looks – move into their room and meet for the first time. Obvious Protagonist feels nervous and out of place. Obvious Protagonist is at college on a wrestling scholarship and just wants to get an education. His parents are conspicuously absent…]
WAIT. Is this Sunnydale High School where they’re filming now? I’m pretty sure it is.

LD:
Who wears a full suit on the first day of classes? Bro Roommate, that’s who.

EK:
[Roommates hit it off with each other because – convenient plot point! – the Obvious Protagonist’s Roommate and Foil is on the wrestling team too! A scene where Obvious Protagonist easily pins an opponent in a match shows off his musculature and strength (sexy)]
My ex-wrestling coach dad just leaned over and whispered “Not a college takedown” and then went back to playing video games on his computer. First fact-check of the night.

LD:
What’s with Lifetime’s set design? What guys’ college dorm room doesn’t have a Gisele or Bud Light poster or whatever?

EK:
[In a scene where the two roommates jog up a mountain trail, they breathlessly stop at the symbolically emotional peak where Obvious Protagonist shares some feelings with his Bro-mate With Normal Loving Parents and Upper-Middle Class Childhood]
“MY PARENTS ARE DEAD”
Of course they are.
This is Lifetime

LD:
[The ever-sensitive Bro-mate felt the need to check his privilege and invited Unhinged to spend a weekend with his normal, loving family]
Oh my God. Unhinged Roommate is going to try to Single White Female his bro-mate with the perfect family.
OH MY GAH. Bro-mate’s mom’s boobs are…uh…there….
UNHINGED ROOMMATE TOTALLY JUST CHECKED OUT THOSE BOOBS
They. Are. So. Pointy. I’m sorry, Eryn, I can’t get over it.

I can't find a good picture of the character's pointy boobs, but needless to say, they're noticeably pointy, okay?

I can’t find a good picture of the character’s pointy boobs, but just trust, they’re noticeably pointy, okay?

EK:
I’m more concerned with these awkward emotional abuse flashbacks.
[Oh yeah, there are soft-lens-focused flashbacks of Obvious Protagonist – forever known as Unhinged Roommate – getting yelled at by a drunken and angry older man, most likely his father. Typical “I can’t love my son because he reminds me of my dead wife! I’m hurting!” kind of stuff]

LD:
Daddy issues. So Lifetime.

EK:
[Boy Band Hair Bro-mate is dating a cute, plucky girl from his Philosophy class or whatever. They are extra horny. This does not sit well with Unhinged because Bro-mate was supposed to be HIS friend. Forever.]
OH BOY they’re already sexting.
Or sexmailing. What’s the sexy version of email?

LD:
Pulling a Petraeus?
[Oh hey, remember the four star general and former CIA Director who got it on with his biographer? This live-blogging was a couple months ago though…so the updated version will be called pulling a Weiner Redux]

EK:
Yep, that’s it.

LD:
This movie is literally the dude version of Single White Female
The Bro-mate, whose fate obviously ends in being viciously choke-hold/strangled in a fit of rage by Unhinged in Plaid [mental instability = plaid patterns of chaotic color coordination. Great costuming department decision here], is obviously a nice and clueless dude. With a guaranteed tragic ending and even more tragic hair.

EK:
Zing!

LD:
BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Is there any way to take a screen shot of Lifetime’s legal movie version of Google Search? “Webtime Crawler”?!

EK:
[Unhinged does some suspicious shit on the down low]
Burning CDs while shirtless: just another day in the life of a LMN bro.

LD:
OMG do these guys just never wear shirts?

EK:
We are now watching as Unhinged in Plaid tries to install spyware on his bro-mate’s computer while bro-mate is taking a shower. More shirtlessness, obvi.
Kind-hearted but clueless Bro-mate…
With improbably young and booby mother.

lifetime 5

LD:
There’s a snotty rich kid who’s been rejected from the wrestling team and now feels threatened by the physically superior but poor (EW) teammate. He causes TROUBLE by spilling his coffee at the café where the earnest (but still unhinged) student athlete works (because he’s POOR. EW.)

EK:
And taunting Unhinged about being a homeless orphan.
#PeopleWhoOnlyExistInLifetimeMovies
Aaaand we’re back!
I love the all-caps on the girlfriend’s sex-chatting.

LD:
Lifetime’s interpretation of how college kids study in the library: LOTS AND LOTS of sexting while your unhinged roommate (super uncomfortably) spies on your entire conversation

EK:
This movie is making me so nostalgic for college! Remember how we used to hack everyone’s computers and psychologically manipulate each other? Good times. Oh wait…

LD:
I used to try to take over my friends’ lives, personalities, and entire identities all the time!

EK:
They have a lot of intense conversations on this mountain. This is a very emotional mountain.
[HOLY SHIT. Unhinged just pulled a total Macaulay Culkin from The Good Son and pushed Bro-mate off the mountain to plummet to his deathhh]
DUN DUN DUNNNNN

LD:
The Mountain of Feelings has now become….
MOUNTAIN OF MURDER
The Mountain of Misplaced Trust

EK:
And this slow-mo plunge to death brought to you by Lifetime.
LIZ AND DICK
Sorry. I got sidetracked by this preview where that Australian guy from all those things is saying that Lindsay Lohan is the reincarnation of Elizabeth Taylor.

LD:
Lindsay is PRETTY MUCH Elizabeth Taylor reincarnated. Fact. Logic. Because Elizabeth Taylor died last year and Lindsay Lohan was born in the 90s.
That’s how reincarnation works?

EK:
So, in the last bit of Dark Desire, we saw Unhinged get increasingly jealous of his Bro-mate’s girlfriend…

LD:
Who is adorably Irish and wears jean capris (oh Lifetime costume design) and whose name is Erin/Eryn. So basically, she represents you in college.

EK:
Obviously.
And this led to Unhinged hacking his bro-mate’s computer so he could keep tabs on all the times they talked about condoms over IM.
Let’s be honest, any of us would have done the same.

LD:
Not just any condoms. Magnum condoms. Important plot detail.

EK:
Obligatory funeral scene…
Sexy Mom awkwardly sobbing.
Oh my god! They are REALLY pointy. You’re so right.
And Unhinged is basically reenacting the scene of her son’s death.

LD:
In which he consciously partook

EK:
He’s blaming it on the sweat though.

LD:
Sad father and son frozen Thanksgiving dinner in front of the TV.
This…is obviously a twisted father son relationship
OH. NO. HE. DID. NOT

EK:
SECOND MURDER OF THE MOVIE!
[Unhinged’s father, it turns out, is a total jerk and a generally nasty, unsupportive father. But did he deserve to get beaten up by his son who then SETS HIM ON FIRE? Probably not. I guess their argument (puts on sunglasses) got a little bit too heated. YEAAAAAAAAAAAA]
This is a plot twist! I was only led to expect one murder!

LD:
Not to mention the first murder in the beginning flash forward scene!
THREE MURDERS: 1) Ho-hum breaking and entering with a shooting (Boring. So typical, Lifetime); 2) Slow-mo death fall at the Mountain of Feelings; 3) Pyromania Thanksgiving!

EK:
Yes, this has definitely escalated. For some reason Unhinged Sr. is upset that his son got a lot of college scholarships by lying about being an orphan. Which would make sense if Unhinged Sr. appeared to have any sense of morality, but given that we’ve seen him do nothing but day-drink and beat up his kid, he clearly doesn’t.

LD:
Even Pointy Boob’s cleavage is pointy and distracting

EK:
Pointy Boob’s husband doesn’t appreciate her. Unhinged is there for her when he isn’t! We all know where this is going.

LD:
So after the really dark family gathering of Unhinged Jr. and Sr., Unhinged the Younger comes to Pointy Boobs for some TLC. There is the requisite scene of a Serious Conversation by the fireside in which Pointy Boobs’ sexual interest is established.

EK:
And now she’s hiring him to do yard work for her and “repair the gazebo” if ya know what I mean…

LD:
This guy is GOOD. The best player to ever play the game. “Repairing gazebo” is only euphemism for “sweaty shirtless time”
Pointy Boob’s Husband doesn’t want to have sex with her anymore. Could it be because her boobs are freakishly pointy?!

EK:
Oh and now Pointy Boobs is discussing her lack of a sex life with her bff. While wearing swimsuits. Unhinged is creeping while carrying a whole stack of somewhat phallic pieces of wood.

LD:
Oh, good observation Eryn. The solid wood used for building a dependable and secure roof over their heads. All Unhinged ever wanted was a loving family!

EK:
SYMBOLISM

LD:
Dear God, what’s another word for “pointy”?

EK:
There’s not one. There’s only one word for pointy. We’re stuck with it.
Whoops, I lied. “Aciculated,” says thesaurus.com

LD:
Pronged?

EK:
“Cuspidated” and “peaked” are also options.

LD:
Oh yeah, I totally just looked up cuspidated
Mucronated
Mucronated Mother?

EK:
Why are all these words so gross?

LD:
Really disgusting actually
Ok, we’ll stick to Pointy Boobs

EK:
Oh no oh no oh no! We have an establishing shot of the swing from the beginning, only in the daytime. PARALLELS. Look at all this sophisticated filmmaking.

LD:
Look at this playful pool scene
ERYN. YOU CAN SEE THIS WOMAN’S NIPS. THEY ARE SHINING IN THE SUN, BLINDING YOU.

EK:
Pretty sure this recently bereaved woman is wearing short shorts and no bra.

LD:
Grief works in strange ways?

EK:
THIS ESCALATED SO QUICKLY.
[To no one’s surprise, Pointy Boobs and Unhinged get it on in the Gazebo of Dark Desire]

lifetime 2

LD:
So all he had to do was sneak up on her naked while she was putting away linens? Psh, amateur hour seduction.

EK:
Pointed shot of her wedding ring during their sex scene

LD:
I’m LOVING the sex/elevator music.
Whoa, you’re right. Her ring is on PROMINENT display in this sexy time montage.

EK:
It sounds so 90s. When was this movie made?

LD:
LOL. 2009.
According to IMDB

EK:
Yikes.

LD:
Awkwaaaaaard
IOAG78Q470JKEAEIOAHEEHUIBJKHS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
[Have no idea what this above comment was about…]

EK:
[Unhinged, now fully in the good graces of Pointy Boobs aka His Murdered Roommate’s Unsuspecting Mother, does more shirtless chores for her around the house]
“He’s replacing the lightbulb. The one that’s been out for months.” aka “The lightbulb is a symbol! A symbol of my sex life! THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON’T FIX THE LIGHTBULB, PHIL!”
[Phil, of course, is the name of every doofy husband in a Lifetime Movie who can no longer sexually fulfill their wives’ desire for younger men in cut-offs and unbuttoned plaid shirts]

LD:
“Touch me…I need you…(I’m pretending like this isn’t the most awkward and badly done seduction scene in the world)…”

EK:
They’re just having sex everywhere now. Incredibly awkward sex. Stop it.

LD:
GEEZ PHIL
KLJAKLDFJHADFHADSFJ
Side note: the obvious green scene background of the car ride is kind of hilarious

EK:
Oh now she’s jealous because Unhinged is chatting up an age-appropriate girl.

LD:
So anyway, I’m all for the cinematic representation of women in their 40s as sexual beings because too often older women in movies are relegated to sexless characters. BUT. Her nipples don’t help.
Oh no. Unhinged is now rejected by his ladylove. Looks like another murder is on the horizon.

EK:
Yeah, he looked way too…himself…when he angstily tried to return her car keys.

LD:
OMG I need to edit my last statement. Because Meryl Streep was just in that movie about couples therapy because she and Tommy Lee Jones weren’t having enough sex. (No, I did NOT watch it. But my mom did.)

EK:
It’s true. It’s all true.

LD:
Speak sister. Speak.

EK:
I think we definitely need to add a heartwarming Hallmark Channel Christmas Movie to our liveblogging bucket list.
Ohhhhh no. Unhinged just drank a whole bottle of vodka + pills.

LD:
I’ve been hearing about Seven Days of Christmas, but I think it’s a Lifetime, not Hallmark
Btw, what’s the difference between these two channels? How have we not tapped into Hallmark awesomeness?

EK:
I think Hallmark has fewer murders and more schmoopy love stories.
Ok so Unhinged’s “cry for help” has led to him staying on in the guesthouse indefinitely.
[Oh yeah, so Unhinged had been invited to stay at Bro-mate’s family’s pool house for weeks to grieve/bone the mother of the guy he pushed off a cliff and killed]

LD:
Ah. So like single mom falling in love with her seven-year-old’s pediatrician?

EK:
Right.

LD:
Damn it, Lifetime costume people, what the hell is your obsession with capri jeans?!

EK:
The seven-year-old will be like, “Mooomm you need to do what makes you happy!” and she’ll be all “Oh sweetie YOU make me happy!” but then the pediatrician will sweep her off her feet anyway.
Bereaved girlfriend just ran into Pointy Boobs and dropped the bomb that Unhinged is a super creep.

Twentieth Century Fox#00001Aaahh! Here’s a Hallmark movie classic, Love Comes Softly, starring Katherine Heigl as a widowed homesteader who something something they’re all a happy family in the end!

LD:
I ought to be paying attention to plot devices and the all too obvious symbolism, but I’m going to leave that task up to the English major. Meanwhile, I’m going to complain about horrific outfit decisions.
Howie, the Snotty Washed Up Wrestler Bro, calls Pointy Boobs on the phone: “Mrs. Bro, the guy staying in your house is dangerous and probably killed your son. Get rid of him! He’s MURDEROUS and is a THREAT to your safety. Seriously, he might kill you right now. Oh whoops! I gotta go! My bros need me for Buffalo Wild Wings quiz night. Take care, Mrs. Bro!”

EK:
Now she knows he probably killed Bro-mate! She’s terrified, but for real, it really is kind of hard to take her seriously in those capris.

LD:
I think her offenses rank: 1) Botched boob job or whatever made it so unnaturally cuspidated; 2) sleeping with her son’s killer (albeit unknowingly); 3) Capri jeans. HEY LADY, are you a teenager painting a house during a summer full of coming-of-age and reconnecting with an estranged parent? Because if not, YOU HAVE NO REASON TO WEAR DENIM CAPRIS.

EK:
Preach.

LD:
LOLOLOL. Howie’s fraternity party is called “FALL RAGER”
[As Emily would say: TOO FRAT TO CARE]

EK:
Wait, let’s talk about another choice she just made, which was to confront her obviously-unhinged house guest and demand that he leave at night, on her own.

LD:
Lifetime heroines usually make bad decisions with no discernible motive

EK:
Now Unhinged is creeping on Howie, obviously prepping for murder #4.

LD:
Well, Unhinged was wearing his Serious Murder Business Black Hat before heading to do the deed

EK:
I think Howie just winked at himself in the mirror while smoking a cigar and also being entirely naked.

LD:
Bro moment.
BROMENT.

EK:
He probably deserves what’s coming to him.

LD:
Actually, this death is really freaking me out right now.

EK:
Unhinged is explaining to Howie that he is NOT a whackjob, while murdering said Howie.
Nooooo, no of course you’re not! You’re just misunderstood! All you need is love!

LD:
“I am NOT going to let you ruin things with Pointy Boobs…” so I’m going to kill you to lower people’s suspicions

EK:
#LifetimeLogic

LD:
I love how Lifetime will conveniently overlook plot points. Like whatever happened to his dad? It’s not like you can hide the evidence of a torched house.
Uh oh. Phloozie Phil is about to drunk drive. Who wants to take a gander that Unhinged will follow him –
OMG HE IS

EK:
Phil is drinking his feelings now that his wife just told him she’s been banging their mentally unstable gazebo repairman.

LD:
– and run him off the road like it shows in the trailers?

EK:
SPOILERS LEANN GODDAMMIT

LD:
OH SHIT

EK:
Now I know what’s going to happen.

LD:
I thought you saw the trailer!

EK:
MURDER #5

LD:
To make up for it, can I point out the ridiculous novelty license plate on the Range Rover that Pointy Boobs gave to Unhinged? “FUTURE”

EK:
Haha, yeah I noticed that. I don’t even know what to do with that.

LD:
“FUTURE” … because he wants to control his FATE, a destiny for a perfect family…JUST SOMEONE TO LOVE

EK:
Plausible.

LD:
Damn, the English major isn’t buying it. I tried. I will stick to hatin’ on inappropriate denim

EK:
No, no, I said plausible! I only didn’t say brilliant because I don’t expect that much from this movie.
We also have GOT to watch My Life Is a Lifetime Movie sometime.
Ooooo ATTEMPTED murder #5! Phil’s still alive!

LD:
That show looks amazing! “Teacher. Student. Sex.”
[“Teacher. Student. Sex” is definitely what all needs to be said at a Lifetime Movie pitch meeting to get green lit by the studio]

EK:
But probably in a coma.
Sooooo she thinks her husband is safer at their secluded house than a busy hospital full of people? More #LifetimeLogic

LD:
Pointy Boobs speaking to Unhinged in Disheveled Hoodie alone, out of sight, and who’s entertaining suggestions of “incapacitating” her husband? #LifetimeLogic
yuhj4bedf79g8powrfrghwaefjhdyuhjqewad!!!!!!!!!!!

EK:
But not out of sight enough that the EMTs would NOT be able to see her making out with him? #LifetimeLogic

LD:
Scene 68 or whatever: Unhinged is unhinged! He’s delusional! He’s going to try to kill my husband again!
Scene 69: I LOVE YOU, UNHINGED. [/smoochies]

EK:
Have we circled back around to the opening scene?

LD:
Oh! Oh! Now we are caught up with when the film starts!
NOT TO MAKE SPOILERS OR ANYTHING
But how much do you want to bet that the shots fired at the beginning of the movie were from…POINTY BOOBS…

EK:
Was murder #5 really murder #1 this whole time? Or is there another plot twist coming? Who knows!

LD:
…who lured Unhinged oaijdfjsdjafhsdfj OMG

EK:
GASP oh my god you were right!

LD:
Plot twists!!!

EK:
I love this plot twist.
So Lifetime.

LD:
My Life. My Time. To killlllllllllll

EK:
I could be wrong, but I think he mouthed “I love you” as his dying words.
Gross.

LD:
No waaaay. We’ll have to rewind that.
THAT WAS IT?!

EK:
Wait that was it?

LD:
Oh god, Eryn, I’m so sorry you missed Revenge for that

EK:
Come on, Lifetime, haven’t you heard of denouement?

LD:
Hahahahaha
Ok, so final words Eryn?
Should we have some kind of rating system?
My vote for Poorest Performance goes to Pointy Boobs’ bras

EK:
Best Performance goes to Howie. He really sold me on the douchebaggery.

LD:
YES. Howie and his gleeful face when he taunts poor kids about their dead parents

EK:
He’s like Draco Malfoy!
If Draco Malfoy habitually mixed pills with whiskey!

LD:
And Dudley!

EK:
And threw Fall Ragers.

LD:
Does that mean fraternities are Death Eaters?

EK:
Dude, obviously.
Death Eaters throw some crrrrraazy ragers.

LD:
Greek letters = Dark Mark. It’s all there!
Um, so anyway. Very like us to get into a Harry Potter tangent.
Final conclusions or lessons learned from this Lifetime movie?

EK:
So on a scale of Teenage Bank Heist to The Pregnancy Pact, where would you place Dark Desire?

LD:
And where does it rank on a scale of Lies My Mother Told Me to The Client List
[Who are we even fooling? NOTHING can touch The Client List]

lifetime 6

EK:
I’d say maybe a LITTLE bit above Lies My Mother Told Me, but WAY below Beyond the Headlines: Amanda Knox

LD:
Alright, so using your parameters, I would say Dark Desire was two steps above Teenage Bank Heist. Whereas those crazy teens showed no motive whatsoever behind their actions, we at least see disturbing flashbacks of Unhinged’s physically and psychologically abusive past. So we do feel sorry for him up to a point when he starts killing peeps. But Dark Desires suffers from a clumsy, quick, and completely unresolved ending. It’s not as ridiculous and totally impossible as Teenage Bank Heist, but it definitely leaves MAJOR PLOT POINTS unexplained. Such as Unhinged Sr’s burnt remains!!

EK:
Agreed.

LD:
Oh man, I totally should have used Amanda Knox as the bookend of that spectrum. Gotta have scientific consistency when collecting data right? Measuring two Hayden Panetierre movies makes much more sense. Go you.
Plus how can you deny the true awesome of the line Amanda Knox uses to describe her (probably, most likely murdery Italian boyfriend): “He’s so hot. He looks like Harry Potter.”

EK:
It’s true. So I think we’ve learned: 1) Don’t go jogging on mountains alone. Bring a friend who is not spying on you.
2) Be honest about your unfulfilled emotional and sexual needs with your husband before banging the gazebo boy.

LD:
True. True. Keep Calm and No, Don’t Jog On, Seriously, What Are You Doing at the Edge of This Steep Incline?
Addendum: With a Crazy Person? Get Outta There.

EK:
3) Don’t abuse kids with Crazy Eyes.

LD:
3a) Don’t keep abusing kids with Crazy Eyes when they are stronger than you and get wrestling scholarships

EK:
4) Don’t habitually do things that might make it look like your fault if you’re ever murdered. Like being an alcoholic who smokes in a very flammable house, or being an alcoholic who also abuses prescription drugs, or being an alcoholic who tends to drive after having several drinks…
Alcohol was the downfall of a lot of people in this movie.

LD:
4a) If you find yourself in a Lifetime movie, lay off the sauce because sooner or later, you’re going to meet a fateful doom

EK:
And I think that concludes our liveblog.
We did it!

LD:
Yep, it was a pleasure Eryn!

EK:
Likewise, Leann!

LD:
I see this as a practice run for Liz & Dick, the REAL DEAL.
A very successful practice!

EK:
Can’t wait.

[We never watched Liz & Dick. Whoops]

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