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Trick or treat? Lifetime’s (DStv 131) Shocktober movies ask, “Why not both?”

Lifetime spills out a poisoned candy bag of treats and wrecks romance with a blood-stained kiss

It’s me-time on Lifetime (DStv 131). Time to run a rose petal bath, light your candles, pour out some wine and soak in those bubbles as you fantasise about your barista bae, yoga instructor or some handyman hotness. Oh, you! But there’s a creak on the floorboards outside the door. There’s a shadow falling across the shower curtain… and that’s not a heart in your latte foam, it’s a knife.

It’s a Lifetime (DStv 131) movie specialty: soften us up with the prospect of romance or a heart-warming new friendship, then when we’re emotionally vulnerable, hit us where it hurts with stories of betrayal, stalking, deadly obsession and rotten romancers. This Shocktober, Lifetime will be going all-out to give us some sweet, sugar-coated nightmares, and they’ll be hiding them in some of our favourite things…


A date… with rat poison stuffing

Romantic dating tropes get more twisted by the minute in Lifetime’s Shocktober movie of the month, My Nightmare Landlord on Saturday, 31 October on Lifetime (DStv 131) at 19:20. In this story, Lydia (Caroline Harris) is trying to make a fresh start in a new home after she breaks up with her boyfriend. And while her handsome, shirt-averse landlord, Drew (Ignacyo Matynia), might seem like something out of a romantic comedy dream, he soon shows that he has no sense of boundaries or decency. What a creeper!

When Lydia realises what Drew’s been up to, he ties her up, gags her, dresses her in a fancy, red date night dress, and in a scene that echoes their previous romantic date together, sits her down for dinner, roses on the table and everything. Drew slips date rape drugs into Lydia’s champagne and tries to force her to drink it. Not content with ruining dates for us, the film then tries to ruin baths, too, when Drew tries to drown Lydia in the bathtub – and it’s clearly not his first time at that trick, either.

Poisoned candies: Handsome shirtless landlords who can actually do repairs and discuss Hemingway’s writing. Sexy little apartments with great light, date night, red dresses, roses, champagne and relaxing baths.


From groom to tomb

Be careful of chaps on dating apps, warns Her Deadly Groom on Saturday, 17 October on Lifetime (DStv 131) at 19:20. In this movie, Alison (Kate Watson) is still feeling emotionally bruised after the failure of her marriage, when her friends create a profile for her on a dating site. At first it seems that Vincent (MIchael DeVorzon) could be an unexpectedly perfect match for Alison. For one thing, he has great taste in wine, which makes their dates a lot of fun. But viewers will know from the opening scene that Vincent is a lady killer – literally – and we’ll see the warning signs that he intends to strike again with Alison, long before she does.

The movie opens with a romantic wilderness hike that comes to a tragic end, leaving the villain free to date again. While Alison is trying to find out what her BFF was trying to tell her before she “wound up” in a coma, Vincent starts massaging her shoulders, and it’s the stage of that relationship where we’re really petrified that those big strong hands are going to slip upward and squeeze her throat like a python. Later, while Vincent is out perpetrating bloody violence, Alison is taking a delightful bubble bath, when she figures out what Vincent is up to, leading to a full-on bathtub battle between the two and a sizzling electrocution.

Razor blade apples: Hiking together, dating apps, wine dates, massages and again, a nice relaxing bath (why?).


Dirty downward dog

There are some things that are better left in fantasy, like hooking up with anyone that you have an ongoing professional relationship with. That goes doubly if you’re actually married. Psycho Yoga Instructor on Saturday, 11 October on Lifetime (DStv 131) at 19:20 lives up to its title, so we’re not giving anything away when we say that Dominic (Panos Vlahos) is the promised yoga guy, and he’s as horrible as he is hot. His victim, Justine Grace (Ashley Wood Garcia), desperately needs to unwind, not be wound up, because her life and marriage are in a mess. What could possibly go wrong?

The movie opens with a beautiful bathtub scene, complete with candles, but it turns out to be Justine’s nightmare, and she is imagining that she’s drowning. A candlelit dinner between Justine and her husband is ruined by a bitter argument. Shirtless and ripped yoga instructor Dominic claims that he’s training Justine to be an instructor, but boy, do their poses get suggestive fast. And finally, Justine’s nightmares come true when Dominic tries to strangle and drown her in her bathtub. And tragic use is made of a healing crystal.

Tricky treats: Our hot-guy fantasies, mentorship, and BATHS (Lifetime, are these films written by cats?).


Shirtless psycho

A teen daughter on house arrest is bad enough, but when she falls for the hoodie-wearing hottie next door and he turns out to be an even bigger troublemaker, that’s when we dial up the nightmare of young love in The Wrong Boy Next Door on Sunday, 4 October on Lifetime (DStv 131) at 19:20. It’s lust at first sight for Katie (Callie Taylor) when she catches a glimpse (which turns into an ogle) of sexy new boy next door John (Travis Burns) lifting weights in nothing but his undies. When John spots Katie enjoying the sight of him doing yard work, he pops over for a chat. Cute right? Weeeeell, it would be if we hadn’t seen him smash a guy’s head with a hammer.

Their relationship immediately sparks, which leads to a lot more shirtless John on the couches, in the kitchen and… placing secret spy cameras around the house including in Mom’s sacred wine rack (Lifetime, how dare?!). John then uses the cameras to keep tabs on Katie’s every move, even watching her as she sleeps, which is romantic in very few circumstances, as it turns out. It’s a stalker with a crush relationship that just gets worse.

Crushed glass lollipops: Cute shirtless boys next door, and watching your lover sleep.

RIP lovely baths and hot shirtless guys, alas, but hello to our new favourite Shocktober movie obsession on Lifetime.

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