Is 'Fatal Flip' A True Story? The Lifetime Movie Draws Inspiration From Dark Places

Lifetime knows how to bring the juicy drama without ripping from the headlines, and it's still extra fun when they do. Is Lifetime's Fatal Flip a true story? The television movie, which airs Saturday and stars Dominique Swain, Michael Steger, and Mike Faiola from Awkward, is not about gymnastics, as you may have thought. Only 11 months until the Summer Olympics! Instead, Fatal Flip goes deep into the seedy consequences of house-flipping, according to the official Lifetime synopsis.

Jeff and Alex had a simple plan: buy a rundown house, make some repairs, sell it for a profit. But house-flipping can be expensive, and when the young couple partner with Nate, a handsome contractor with a dark past, they get more than they bargained for.

According to IMDb, the working title for Fatal Flip was The Fixer Upper, which sounds like the romantic comedy version of this story, so I understand the change. Has anything like this ever happened in real life? Are there any house flipping horror stories? Not really, I'm discovering. The biggest problems most house-flippers face include things "horror stories" like bugs and nosy neighbors. History has not yet provided us with the "Craigslist Killer" of flipping houses, not that I'm complaining. Despite similar titles, Fatal Flip is in no way associated with Flip This House or Flip or Flop.

Lucky for us, while there is no specific real life basis for the film, screenwriter Maureen Bharoocha spoke about Fatal Flip's origin with her alma mater, Boston University. Instead of the latest headline, she was going for an older noir feel. "The inspiration for Fatal Flip came from a few places," Bharoocha says. "I’ve always been a big fan of the psychological thriller: classics like Vertigo or Funny Games as well as modern ’90s thrillers like Single White Female and The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. So when I was given the opportunity to write a thriller, I thought that our do-it-yourself cultural landscape was the perfect setting for a simple home invasion story."

Bharoocha also directed the film, and co-wrote it with another BU alum and female filmmaker, Ellen Huggins. Go ladies! The movie looks like it takes some of the different hurdles when it comes to house-flipping and decided to take it one step further. Give it the old Lifetime thriller makeover, which we love.