Sending your kid off to college is a major benchmark in many parent-child relationships. As a parent, you can't wait to see them spread their wings and discover who they are as an adult, but you never stop worrying about the dangers they could face while no longer under your watchful eye. Lifetime's newest movie A Father's Nightmare takes that concept to the extreme as a father watches his college-bound daughter get caught up in her roommate's manipulative world. It's enough to make any parent concerned about whether or not A Father's Nightmare is based on a true story, given that the underlying concept doesn't sound totally out of the realm of possibility.
Let's back up for a minute, though, dive a little deeper into what exactly this latest Lifetime film is about. First of all, it's worth mentioning that this project is a follow-up series to another Lifetime original, A Mother's Nightmare, which made its debut back in September 2012. So if you thought the title in and of itself sounded familiar, that's probably why. But while that movie centered around a very unhealthy teenage romance, this follow-up film focuses more on on a college roommate dynamic instead that quickly takes a turn for the worst.
Jessica Lowndes reprises her role as Vanessa, who quickly draws her young and vulnerable roommate, Lisa, into her web of manipulation and lies. Vanessa's motives, as of now, remain a bit unclear, though that's all part of the fun with these types of movies, right? Not knowing is the most intriguing part of all. However, Lisa does have one true ally on her side: her father, Matt, who is determined to pull his daughter away from Vanessa's influence. But will he succeed? You'll just have to tune in on Sunday, July 22 at 8 p.m. ET to find out one way or the other.
For a detailed description of the plot, check out the official synopsis to A Father's Nightmare below:
A follow up to A Mother's Nightmare, reeling from the recent death of his wife, Matt sends his daughter Lisa off to college, where she falls under the spell of her older, more mature roommate, Vanessa. As Vanessa's manipulation sets Lisa on a downward spiral, Lisa and Matt grow further apart, while her dependence on Vanessa deepens. But, will Matt figure out what's really going on before it's too late?
So now that we're all fully in informed on what this movie is actually about, let's go back to addressing whether or not the premise is grounded in any factual information. Are these characters based on a real people? Did something like this actually happened to someone IRL? The answer to that question is, thankfully, a profound no. While it's definitely true that parents haven't always approved of their kids' roommates or that some roommates turn out to be the actual worst (the struggle is oh-so-real on that front), the specifics of this particular story are a complete work of fiction. As with the case of many Lifetime movies that have come before it, A Father's Nightmare was created entirely to entertain.
In short, there is no Vanessa, these is no Lisa, and there is no Matt out there in the real world. People with those names obviously exist in real life, but the events that happen to these characters have no factual foundation whatsoever, which is honestly a good thing. This world is full of enough depressing news these days without adding another layer of worry to your Lifetime viewing experience. So as you sit down to enjoy the network's latest creation this weekend, just take comfort in the knowledge that A Father's Nightmare doesn't have to become your worst nightmare.