Once again, Scott plays the most gorgeous mom in the world. In this thriller, she's Karen, a mother of two precocious boys Max (Dylan Kingwell) and Rex (Jett Klyne). Karen also is romantically involved with recovering alcoholic Greg (Woody Jeffreys).
She is having trouble balancing her career, motherhood and relationship, so she decides to hire a nanny. Unfortunately for her, she discovers manny Alex (Mitch Ryan). He has a way with kids, cleans the house ... and is infatuated with Karen. She hires him on a whim, and Alex begins bonding with the kids, doing housework and alienating the suspicious Greg.
Alex has a bit of a shady background. His previous client allegedly "committed suicide," and he seems to have a fascination with amusement park Wonder World. Oh, and he has a knack for creating drone cameras to capture Karen's every move.
He sees himself as a fit for Karen's family, but a few things stand in his way. Greg is the biggest obstacle, so he proceeds to try and turn the kids against him. Alex also has to contend with Cori (Jordana Largy), a hot (and horny) nanny he meets at the playground. She has her sights on him and won't relent until he provides her with some ... ahem ... daycare. Also present is Karen's BFF Gillian (Fiona Vroom), who thinks Alex is a great catch.
Alex, however, is a master stalker and a super psycho, so he has a few tricks up the sleeves of his omnipresent hoodie. So, anyone who crosses his path is in trouble -- including schoolyard bully Brett (Cory Gruter-Andrew) and his dog Jasper(!).
This gem debuted last night on Lifetime and had everything you'd want in a Saturday night stalker movie - pin-up board with photos of his victim, hidden cameras, etc. Hats off to director Chad Krowchuk for delivering a thriller to remember, and kudos to the cast, especially Scott and Ryan. Scott is credible as the devoted mother, who is painfully blind to Alex's weird behavior. Meanwhile, Ryan shows restraint as the obsessive yet sweet babysitter. He's nice most of the time yet flashes his psychotic tendencies at all the right moments. I also have to give props to the kids. The three boys (Kingwell, Klyne and Gruter-Andrew) are excellent in their roles.
This is a lighter version of classic "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle," but still packs a punch at all the right moments. Also, "Manny Dearest" (originally titled "Stranger With My Kids") offers a smart variation on the typical nanny from hell movies by offering a memorable male antagonist and is a stark reminder of why it's important to check references for any childcare professional -- no matter how handsome or sweet they may be.
"Manny Dearest": Directed by Chad Krowchuk; Starring Ashley Scott as Karen, Mitch Ryan as Alex, Woody Jeffreys as Greg, Dylan Kingwell as Max, Jett Klyne as Rex, Jordana Largy as Cory, Fiona Vroom as Gillian