TV Movie: “Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? (2016)”

If you’re going to remake a movie, even if you know it’s probably going to suck, you really need to put in some effort. If audiences, even those who know better or flat out don’t care, are going to choose a remake, they should at least get something that’s worth their time. Anything! Let’s just file this one away and move on, it’s the quickest way to forgetting this even exists.

The new Lifetime Original movie “Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?”, is a tiresome lifeless remake that somehow didn’t come close to being enjoyable.

This TV movie stars Emily Meade (upcoming “Nerve”, “Money Monster”), Leila George, Nick Eversman (“Victor”, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”), Ivan Sergei (“Broken Memories”, “Eyewitness”), Emma Rigby (“Death in Paradise”, “Plastic”), Zoe Bleu, Amber Coney (upcoming series “Dead of Summer”, “Laugh Along the Way (Short 2015)”), Gabrielle Haugh (upcoming “The Midnight Man”), Tori Spelling (“Izzie’s Way Home”, “Mystery Girls”), and James Franco (upcoming “Sausage Party”, “Angie Tribeca”).

It was directed by Melanie Aitkenhead (“Momentd De La Ville (Short 2013)”, “Shang”) and written by Coney. It is based on the novel by Claire R. Jacobs.

It debuted on June 18, 2016 on Lifetime.

I asked for this, but didn’t really think I’d regret it this much. Well, I do. It wasn’t what I’d expected it to be, which is a strange thing to say as this is a Lifetime movie. Maybe I was just optimistic that I’d truly enjoy this as it wasn’t aiming for being at all serious. I was wrong. Very wrong. And sadly, there’s nothing I can do to block out the images from my mind. A lot of therapy may be needed, but even then I don’t think that’ll work.

I’m not even sure how to begin. This whole movie was off the rails before it even started. It was somewhat enjoyable, up to a point, and then I just felt I needed to see it to the unexpected ending. Yeah, that bit wasn’t predictable, but a lot of the rest of the movie was. Most of that I think has to do with the fact that it’s a remake, and I watched the original yesterday.

I’m not sure where this movie went wrong, but it did. Perhaps it was the focus on lesbian vampires. The fact that Spelling’s kid was gay wasn’t the issue, but more that she was dating a vampire. The reason this vampire bit was off is because it just never meshed well with this story. Sure it’s far out there, and removed from reality, but I can usually live with that. However, the writing done by Coney didn’t lend itself well in this aspect. The sequences involving Meade and the rest of the coven just came out of nowhere and really slowed things down. At some point, I was really hoping my fellow Twitter watchers were going to be able to help, but not in the slightest. Mind you, Twitter did make this movie far more enjoyable than it probably wold’ve been otherwise. When I watched the original movie, I deeply regretted not having Twitter at my disposal.

While we had a much smarter character in George, unlike with Spelling in the original, she actually lacked reason’s for me to care. I wasn’t bothered by the performances, at all, but I wasn’t interested in her as a character, or the other characters for that matter. George, for the young college student she is, was really just locked in eternal teenage mode the entire time. This time, there was something more irritating about her, which again, made me not care that much.

Spelling, seemed promising as the mother, but she actually got the worst of it. She was so lifeless and everything out of her mouth, or shown on her face, just made me roll my eyes and laugh. I couldn’t take anything about her seriously, but maybe that’s just Spelling in general. I wouldn’t know. Fortunately, this movie gave her one moment that actually made me like her. She was stalking her daughter, albeit in a terrible way, but it really made me wonder if she’d remembered something from 20 years ago? Some traumas apparently are good for you.

Over on the evil side, no not the lady vamps, we have Eversman as Bob. Yeah, I know, right? Bob. What about, Bob? Fucking Bob. Anyway, he was just a complete creep, and really took on the role that Sergei originated, so in that respect we get an unexpected throwback. I can’t bring myself to call it an homage. It really wasn’t. He could’ve, maybe should’ve, been the nice guy with a crush on George, but is more clueless than anything. No, he’s just some jealous asshole who can’t stand not getting what he wants. Again, like Sergei in the original. However, Eversman takes it a bit further, or maybe it’s just the way it played out. He goes so far as to become George’s would-be rapist, but fortunately (unfortunately for Bob) for George, although with a massive helping of ulterior motive, the vampire chicks who constantly sulk, skulk and stalk George and Meade, show up to save George. I really can’t even begin to touch that part of the film. So much of this film contradicts itself, it’s even more difficult to figure out what Coney was going for, or what Franco even had in mind.

Oh, and original star, Sergei, had a cameo/role! It was okay, but would’ve been better as a cameo role. You know, in the traditional sense of cameo. Franco was also okay, but he really gave himself this small role as a kind of vanity role. There was no reason for him to appear whatsoever. This too probably would’ve been better if it was a cameo. Something short, but not as distracting as his role was.

As if things couldn’t get any worse, they somehow did. The filler stuff, which is what I’m going to call it, was uninteresting. George was auditioning it be part of “MacBeth” at her school, and she got the part. Shocker. And so, when we weren’t spending time at photo shoots with Meade and George, or watching Meade meet with her fellow vamps, or them being creepy on their own, or watching Eversman be a total creep, we were subjected to a lot of rehearsals. Yes, these rehearsals were far more interesting than the actual movie, but they did nothing but supply some slight sexual tension. Okay, really all the stuff I’ve mentioned here actually did nothing. Had to pad this movie somehow. At some point, in part due to this sexual tension, the movie seemed to take on a soft core porn aspect. I guess the whole sex in a cemetery thing doesn’t help with this either. I may have been more wiling to see the play, but I was also so, so bored. Things just became too ridiculous.

Surprisingly there was one moment that I kind of appreciated seeing in this version. The mother meeting the girlfriend over dinner. A lot of that scene was one big throwback to the to the original, including some dialogue almost taken word for word. It was just so much fun to see Spelling reacting, knowing that she went through this herself.

Okay, folks! As I’ve officially decided I’m no longer sure what I’m writing, but certain those who read this will get the idea, I’m going to call it. This, coupled with yesterday’s post, is far more time than I should’ve spent on this TV movie franchise. I may have been expecting outright ridiculousness from this (lesbian vampires), but I didn’t think it would completely implode on itself. On some level, it’s because there was too much crazy and too much serious trying to live in the same space. You can’t do that. If you’re going to take a bad cult classic TV movie and fuse it with more bad elements, plus other out there elements, then you’re best course of action isn’t to go for even slightly serious. How on earth do you think the “Sharknado” movies have done so well?

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