Lizzie (15) | Home Ents Review

Dir. Craig William MacNeill, US, 2017, 105 mins

Cast: Chloe Sevigny, Kristen Stewart, Jamey Sheridan, Denis O’Hare, Fiona Shaw

Review by Michelle Moore

Many of you may already be familiar with the story of Lizzie Borden through previous movies, televised ghost hunts of the Borden house or just having heard the tale been told throughout different outlets including the rhyme Lizzie Borden took an axe, and gave her mother forty whacks.

When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one” (A rhyme that sticks in the memory much like the Freddie Kruger one!) If that is the case, then the premise of this film may not be something new to you, but will delve into the unsolved double murder of Lizzie’s Borden’s father and step mother once again.

Opening with Lizzie (Sevigny) finding her step mother murdered, the movie reverts back six months to see how we got to this point. The film explores the relationships between all those involved; Lizzie and the house maid Bridget (Stewart), Lizzie and her father (Sheridan), Lizzie and her step-mother (Shaw) and Mr. Borden and the house maid. We see how relationships are built and then demolished. When the Borden’s are found murdered, Lizzie is the prime suspect. If Lizzie Borden was in fact the murderer as this movie claims, then after viewing the relationships and the life that she lived you can possibly understand what could drive a young woman to do such a thing. She had no respect from her father or his wife, she looked to the house maid for comfort and was shamed for it by her father and he physically abused not only his daughter within that house hold. Mr. Borden is not portrayed as the decent human being the outside world apparently saw him as and neither is Lizzie’s uncle (O’Hare).

As good as the performances are by the individuals involved in this film, the six months leading up to the murders drags on then the actual case itself is over within minutes. Up to the point in which Lizzie finds her step-mother and father murdered, the movie narration made for interesting viewing, watching how and why things got to this point. However, there appears to be some aspects that are only briefly mentioned or skipped over entirely such as Lizzie’s arrest and the police investigation into her being the lead suspect. As the movie close’s with the credits and an explanation as to why this murder was never solved, you are left to feel a little cheated as to having read the results of the murder case rather than visually closing things in a last scene with these details.

Once again the story Lizzie Borden has been told and leaves the murder case open for new possibilities.

Lizzie comes to Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD 8th April 2019

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Author: Michelle Moore

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