For a while there, it looked like Lifetime was focusing on ripped from the headlines stories about recently deceased celebrities, with Whitney, Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B, and more. But you can still find creepy, fictional tales on the cable network, as proven by its latest, Stalked By My Neighbor. The movie follows a young woman whose previous trauma during a home invasion begins to make her paranoid and suspicious that one of her neighbors might be stalking and assaulting women living on her block. And while it sounds like Stalked By My Neighbor could be based on a true story, it's actually not.
Stalking is a very common occurrence, but Stalked By My Neighbor wasn't inspired by any particular true story. However all of the different dramatic elements should make it clear that the film is a work of fiction. The premise is reminiscent of Rear Window, the classic Alfred Hitchcock movie about a nosy neighbor who spies on his surroundings using a long-lensed camera. But instead of a bedridden Jimmy Stewart, the camera is held by a teenage girl, Jodi, who's recently moved to a new town with her mother, Andrea, after Jodi was raped in the home invasion, while Andrea watched via videochat, which is horrifying.
Once they move to their brand-new subdivision, though, Jodi starts getting in all sorts of trouble for photographing everyone in town against their will and for accusing "three different people" of being stalkers and murderers. Looks like those three — a young teen who doesn't like have his picture taken, a sexy dad, and an older man who may have some kind of sexual interest in Jodi — will wind up being the three suspects. Watch the trailer below.
But how much do you want to bet that the real culprit will turn out to either be Jodi herself, in some kind of fugue state, or Andrea, because she wants to protect her little girl from dating or something? I'm pretty confident in this prediction, because there have been a few other Lifetime movies with similar plots.
There are a dozen that have "stalked" right in the title, like Stalked at 17, which has a pretty gnarly soundtrack in its trailer (shown above). Teen girl, chance sexual encounter, and, eventually, carnage.
There was also the more empowering Stalkers , which starred Drea de Matteo as a detective who helps write the laws that catch and keep stalkers in jail. Based on a memoir from a prosecutor who really did help shape the stalking laws in California, the film did give de Matteo's character a stalker ex-husband, but she was a well-possessed detective, as seen in the trailer above.
If these movies can teach us anything, it's that stalking is awful no matter who does it.