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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Review: 'Deadly Delusion'

Haylie Duff is one of this blogger's favorite Lifetime regulars, and she doesn't disappoint in "Deadly Delusion" (originally titled "The Lease"). This thriller premiered last Friday and airs again today at 3 p.m. (CST) on Lifetime.

Duff stars as Julia, a woman in therapy. She's being treated by the Spock-like Dr. Leary (related to Timothy?) played by the always awesome Teri Polo. She's also involved with the sensitive and hunky Shane (Mike Faiola), who has led their relocation to the west coast. He works in the movie industry as an executive and film director boss Robert (Louis Mandylor) helped find an incredible deal on a home and provides Julia with an awesome car. "Perks of the job, babe," Shane reassures her.

The house is incredible, but Julia, a professional photographer, constantly sees shadowy figures lurking in the background ... and finds a snake in the bathroom sink! The constant ticking of the house clock doesn't help her mental state. Shane wants to make sure she's on her meds as every time she cries for help, there's nothing to see. Julia will see someone in the house, scream her head off, and Shane will come dashing to the rescue. Then "poof"... no intruder! It looks like she's off her rocker, but she is convinced someone is stalking her. Her paranoia reaches an all time high when she comes home to find sexy BFF Annie (Melissa Mars) walking out of her shower!

So, what's really going on? Is Julia out of her mind? Is Shane going to tear a quad running to a false alarm? Is Annie doing more than showering at Julia's pad? What exactly is Dr. Leary prescribing??And why is Robert so generous? Oh...and there's the Arthur, the semi-creepy real estate guy ... and all kinds of wires running through the house (part of the electrical system...or something else??).

This movie starts a bit slow, then builds to a pretty cool (and creative) climax. Duff is the main reason to keep watching. She is very convincing as a troubled woman ... who loses credibility with every cry for help. The audience wants to root for her, but most of the time, she comes across as (the title states) delusional. Director Nadeem Soumah is no stranger to building small screen suspense. This guy has helmed classics like "Turbulence" and "Broken Promise" (both make the rounds on the Lifetime Movie Network), so he can deliver the goods when it comes to made-for-TV magic.

"Deadly Delusion" is a tightly-wound thriller the benefits from Duff's portrayal of a woman unraveling and fine supporting performances (particularly Mandylor's small but effective role).

"Deadly Delusion": Directed by Nadeem Soumah; Starring Haylie Duff as Julia, Mike Faiola as Shane, Melissa Mars as Annie, Louis Mandylor as Robert, Teri Polo as Dr. Leary, and Michael Rene Walton as Arthur

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