It’s Friday the 13th, and things are supposed to get strange today. So let’s get strange. This review might be a bit different, because honestly, this movie won’t get a high rating. It’s messy, so I want you to join in the confusion with me. Plus I took all these notes and didn’t want them to be all for naught. Just putting that out there right off the bat.
Supposedly, Lizzie (2012) is about Lizzie Borden and how she got a raw deal. I know I’ve personally done a lot of reading about the case, had questions, looked at the crime scene photos, and did double Dutch (jump roping) to that creepy rhyme:
Lizzie Borden took an ax
And gave her mother 40 whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father 41.
So, anyway, the other day I was looking through my Netflix queue and decided I was going to do 30 in 30 – 30 movies in 30 days. And to keep it simple, I’m just going in order of my queue. Obviously, this was next.
Back to the movie… From my recollection of the story, Lizzie got a raw deal. Nothing was ever conclusively proven, and we aren’t sure what really happened. In the end, Lizzie was acquitted, but she was ostracized by the community, and one must wonder how she fared. This movie, directed by David Dunn Jr. and written by Leif Holt, certainly has it’s own opinion! Apparently, there is a young woman also named Lizzy (note the difference in spelling):
Lizzie – That’s Lizzie Borden
Lizzy – This movie’s Lizzy Allen
With me so far? Anyway… Apparently Lizzy witnessed something horrific in her childhood, and her therapist suggests moving back to her childhood home to help her figure out what that might have been. So rather than a typical review, here are my notes:
Note: There are potential spoilers throughout this review, so you may want to stop here and return after watching the movie.
Opens up with a narrative – in prose? Pics from the actual crime scene? Interesting! Hold on! Is that Gary Busey? (Paused the movie to check IMDB page.) IT IS! Well then…
Creepy music and that crazy nursery rhyme (same as the one I would jump rope to). Kids can be really morbid. Did I sound morbid when I jumped around my house with my jump rope cackling this rhyme? I bet I did.
Some of the cast:
Gary Busey – Andrew Borden
Cindy Baer – Lizzie Borden
Corbin Bernsen – Dr. Fredricks
Amanda Baker – Lizzy Allen
Don Swayze (Patrick Swayze‘s younger brother) – Lizzy’s father
Leif Holt – Jason (Lizzy’s boyfriend)
Adult Lizzy is having a session with Dr. Fredricks regarding bad dreams. Maybe something in her past? Father killed someone?
Quick flashback. Hold up, Lizzy’s father is a Swayze. Don Swayze is Patrick’s younger brother? Don’t know why I’m surprised I didn’t know that. Then again, I didn’t know this guy’s name was Don Swayze. But he does have a bit of that Swayze look.
Doc recommends she go spend some time at her childhood home. She does.
Is this supposed to be Lizzie Borden’s house? Doesn’t even look like it! Am I missing something?
Yuck, creepy porcelain doll. Lizzy having another flashback – or maybe hot flashes. Eww, playing with creepy doll. Creepy doll whispers to young Lizzy… I knew it was creepy/possessed. I’m becoming obsessed with the creepy doll. The young actress that plays young Lizzy makes strange facial contortions. Is she yelling? Crying? Why is she playing with that creepy doll? Does anyone else know the doll makes creepy whispery noises?
After recovering from her hot flash, adult Lizzy thinks she cut her finger when she dropped her glass – but she didn’t. Hallucination? Going crazy? Oh wait, she didn’t even break her glass. But she has been standing in the bathroom all day. Oh, maybe she hasn’t… I’m losing track of time. Oy!
Jason (No, not that Jason; Lizzy’s boyfriend) is home, and we get a complete 180 – Lizzy’s fine now, but she was losing it in the bathroom a moment ago. Lizzy uses baby talk to get Jason to open some wine. Personal note: I hate that – act your age! Talk right. And can’t you open a bottle of wine!
Lizzy might be a wino – even Jason agrees with me. The couple watches a movie – a horror movie. Obviously, Lizzy is a wimp.
After the movie, Jason is asleep on the couch. Lizzy is writing on a fogged up bathroom mirror. Wait! Seriously, you aren’t going to show me what she wrote? Really?!
And now another cray cray episode? Banging on the window… maybe? But Jason can’t be bothered. Apparently, he’s sleepy. Scary hallucination of Lizzie Borden sneaking up behind young Lizzy and whacking her with a hatchet! Scary!
Lizzy is so scared, that she sits on her bed all night staring at the floor. Then she beats the alarm clock with a baseball bat – probably because she realizes she had been sitting there like a lump for 8 hours. I think Lizzy is losing it . Someone knocks on her door, and she starts screeching like a banshee. Yelling, “WHO IS IT?” in this high-pitched witch voice. Take it down a notch, girl. She’s walking around with a baseball bat. Sheesh, it’s just the cable guy, so why not just open the door in your underwear? Weirdo!
Cable guy is strange. I think he is cussing out the TV.
Lizzy is still in her underwear. Lizzy is dumb. She’s fussing at her boyfriend – telling him to stop yelling at her on the phone when he’s not. And still in her underwear. Obviously she has no manners. Put on some clothes!
Did I mention the cable guy is strange? He’s telling Lizzy to not hook up the internet cause Jason just wants to look for hot girls. But, of course, cable guy is awesome ’cause he tells Lizzy she is sexy and – wait for it, ladies – stupid, very stupid.
Gratuitous shower scene – though we only see side boob. Apparently she shaves with a butcher knife as she cuts her leg badly! Lizzy thinks she hears something, so she gets out of the shower. She’s freaking out again… and yet her towel stays on. How come mine always falls off? Seriously, I can’t wrap a towel around me and have it stay on during a frantic run around my house. (I tried, strictly for the sake of this review.) She yells for Jason a lot. (That must be how I sound. I yell for my husband a lot. I think I have a newfound sympathy for him.)
Oh wait! It was Jason she heard. He’s stalking her in a ski mask with a hatchet. What a turd! Lizzy is not having it and gives him the stank eye.
Pounding and more yelling for Jason. And though she yells for him and obviously wants him to sleep with her, as she is scared, she will not forgive him. Go, Lizzy! He’s a turd. (Did I already say that?) Cue sex scene.
And now more talking with Dr. Fredricks. He suggests hypnotherapy, but Lizzy doesn’t care about the past and just wants drugs. The doctor gives in, prescribing her something that is stronger, but has a calming effect. But he warns her – no alcohol. That’s gonna be tough, ’cause Lizzy’s a wino. That’s OK. She’ll ignore her doctor and drink anyway.
Ohh… Lizzy is mad that Jason had a few beers with work friends, and yet she’s mixing drugs and wine? Tsk tsk!
Ohh… now it comes out. Jason is a philanderer! So, Lizzy has good reason to question him! She drinks more wine. I am now convinced she has a drinking problem.
More bad dreams, and she collapses. The neighbor, Maggie, comes over and sees that Lizzy hit her head… I would be annoyed if some strange woman was sitting on my bed, but apparently she heard screaming, so she came to check on Lizzy.
Wait, Jason is back. Didn’t he just leave in a screech of tires? Maggie is giving him the stank eye too. She must know about his stupid prank… Or maybe she’s checking him out? I don’t know.
Eww! Creepy doll is out in full force, whispering to Jason.
Where the hell is Gary Busey?
Back to creepy doll. I think it wants to eat Jason.
Jason wakes up. Where’s Lizzy? Oh, just asleep on the couch.
Maggie is in some weird dress – outdated. Is this a dream? Lizzy’s dream? Jason? I’m losing track of time again.
Now, Jason is having bad dreams, seeing creepy Lizzie on Lizzy’s face. He decides to get his gun out of his Jeep and hide it behind the stove. Really? That’s his answer? What a turd!
Eww… Jason doesn’t shower or anything and puts the same clothes on. Yuck! He works in construction, so either he sucks at his job and does nothing all day, or he likes getting back into dirty clothes. Gross. So, he’s a smelly turd.
Maggie is creepy. She stands over Lizzy’s bed with an ax, and then says they need to open the basement door that is sealed shut. Lizzy doesn’t even stop to wonder why her neighbor is standing in her room with an ax. Guess the cable guy was right – Lizzy is stupid. Maggie and Lizzy do not get the door open. Cut to Lizzy – doing what else? – drinking wine!
BOOBIES! Lizzy imagining Jason cheating on her again. The boobie shot was not necessary. Boobs are not going to save this mess.
Jason is home and decides to creep around the house a bit instead of just going inside. He also decides to play with the sealed door, while Lizzy drugs up.
Oops! Jason gets it open! It’s a storage/crawl space. He slips and finds a first aid box hidden under a shelf.
Creepy doll has its hooks in Lizzy. She cuddles with the doll, and it starts whispering again. Am I the only one that can hear it? Maybe it’s going to eat me.
Back to Jason, articles about Lizzie Borden are in the first aid box. Jason has a hallucination of Lizzie Borden killing her father and then falls asleep in crawl space.
Lizzy wakes up and sees Jason leaving. She starts crying. It’s not a pretty cry face either. What’s her problem? Why didn’t she run out and smack him around a bit, find out where he’s been. Oh wait, he was asleep in the crawl space.
Her doctor doesn’t want to help her, because she won’t address her past. And now Jason seems to be losing it. He’s always carrying around his hatchet. Does no one else notice this? I think Lizzie Borden is taking over his body.
Maggie in her old dress again. Flashback? Huh? Oh wait, is she a ghost? She says that she worked for a family – Borden’s. And that Andrew, the father, raped her. I’m confused!
Lizzy tries to call cops, but the address doesn’t exist, and Maggie disappears! I guess present day Lizzy doesn’t know who creepy Lizzie B is!
Lizzy is now stuck in the past – seeing things as they must have been.
It’s Gary Busey! Finally!
Ohh… Lizzie Borden was a lesbian! And Andrew Borden’s wife, Abby, can’t have children, so… he decides to rape his maid, Bridgette. After all he needs someone to carry on his name. Well, that’s why his wife can’t have children – she’s a zombie! Apparently, Gary Busey, I mean, Andrew doesn’t know that 200 year old zombie ladies can’t have babies. Ahh, looks like Abby was just trying to protect Bridgette and Lizzie. She saw Andrew raping Bridgette, and tried to help the girl. Abby pleaded with Bridgette to get Lizzie and run, but Andrew killed Abby.
Lizzie comes home and sees her father covered in blood, then she goes to look for her stepmother and is horrified. Uhh… who could blame her? She picks up the ax and is suddenly very scary looking. She kills Gary Busey! I mean, the mannequin that is supposed to look like Gary Busey.
Cut back to present day. Lizzy is covered in blood. She finds Maggie’s body. I’m so lost!
Then she finds Jason’s body. Did she catch the two of them together, and then kill them? What happened?
Lizzy kills herself.
Cut to young Lizzy, playing happily in the backyard with creepy doll. Her mother was possessed by Lizzie Borden and kills her father. Hold on, it was the mother! Mind blown!
Cut back to present day again. Lizzy sits back up. What?!
I realize you probably have no clue what actually happened in this crazy movie, but I watched it and neither do I! I felt as if we should all be confused together. The best part of this movie was the opening scenes told in rhyme by a narrator. I should have turned it off after that part was over. I appreciate that this movie attempted to put a spin on the legend of Lizzie Borden and to actually answer all the “what ifs” that surround the case. It was a great idea, and had just a bit more attention been paid to the timeline, this could have been a great B movie. Instead, it’s a convoluted mess.
1 hatchet whack out of five (and only because creepy doll was truly creepy!).