Is 'The Stepchild' Based On A True Story? This Lifetime Movie Explores The Effects Of PTSD

It's the weekend, and you know what that means: It's time to curl up and watch another melodramatic, sensationalistic, but still totally entertaining movie on Lifetime when Saturday night rolls around. So, what epic drama will the network be serving up this week, you ask? Well, once you hear the movie's title, you may immediately wonder if Lifetime's The Stepchild is based on a true story.

There's no mention of The Stepchild having come from a true story in its synopsis found on the movie's page on Lifetime's website, which reads like so:

The film's co-writer and director Roma Roth described The Stepchild as "a tight little Hitchcockian mystery that will keep the audience glued to their seats until the end" in a recent interview with The London Free Press, which also leads me to believe that the movie is a complete work of fiction.

However, aside from the over-the-top murder-mystery plot, The Stepchild also deals with the very real issue of the effects of post-traumatic stress, which is often something we hear associated with veterans in the news, but it can affect anyone that has experienced "a shocking, scary, or dangerous event," according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Everyone experiences post-traumatic stress differently, but in The Stepchild, it appears that Ashley will exhibit such symptoms as bad dreams, having trouble remembering the traumatic event, and feeling worried.

Roma Roth on YouTube

In particular, Ashley's therapist tells her that she is experiencing paranoid ideation, or just paranoia, in The Stepchild as a result of witnessing the traumatic event of a home invasion that left her father dead and her stepmother injured. Ashley's therapist tells her she is paranoid for thinking that her stepmom's boyfriend, John, killed her dad and is after Beth next. But since this is a Lifetime movie, that's probably what actually happened. But again, in real life, paranoia affects everyone differently.

Even if The Stepchild isn't strictly based off of one true story, it definitely reminded me of some other past pieces of entertainment. For one, The Stepchild immediately gave me some Hamlet vibes, except instead of an uncle murdering the king of Denmark to rule the land and shack up with the queen, it's a business partner who might have killed a man to get with his wife and eventually take over his company.

1948clips on YouTube

Of course, if you want to get a bit more general about it, stepparents or the new boyfriends/girlfriends of parents are often portrayed as evil in stories. The stepmother in Cinderella is the quintessential wicked stepparent. You'll find more terrifying stepfathers in This Boy's Life and in the 1987 and 2009 horror movies titled The Stepfather. But I'm pretty sure Meredith Blake (Elaine Hendrix), the girlfriend of Hallie's (Lindsay Lohan) dad Nick (Dennis Quaid) in the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap will always be the worst.

Ninsegalover on YouTube

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