When it comes to layering thrills, chills, and just enough elements of realism in order to create the perfect Sunday night TV movie, Lifetime has it down to a science. The latest misadventure from the network, His Perfect Obsession, premieres on Sep. 3 at 8 p.m. ET, kicking off an autumn of stalker-y frightfulness that includes Penn Badgley's new series, You. What makes the movie especially scary, however, is that everyone knows that stalker situations happen all too often in the real world. So is His Perfect Obsession based on a true story?
Thankfully, Lifetime hasn't dropped any indication that His Perfect Obsession is anything other than pure fantasy. When the network does borrow from real life, they tend to be pretty obvious about it advertising it, as in the case of Girl in the Bunker, based on the real life story of the kidnapping of Elizabeth Shoaf, which debuted this past Memorial Day. The promotional material regularly included some mention of the true story that served as inspiration for Girl in the Bunker, and since there's none of that with His Perfect Obsession, you can rest assured that this one is straight-up fiction.
According to the official synopsis from the Lifetime website, His Perfect Obsession packs in even more drama than the title implies. It reads:
"Seventeen-year-old Abigail Jones lost her eyesight eleven months ago. When her great-aunt Charlotte dies suddenly in a freak accident, her mother Allison and she return to the small town where Allison grew up, near Philadelphia, to tend to her funeral and affairs. Allison meets Bart, Charlotte's strange (and psychotic) accountant who has been secretly carrying a torch for Allison since they were kids. Soon mayhem ensues, including the murders of both Allison's philandering husband and Burt's unstable mother. It is going to be up to Abigail, using her newly acute senses to save her mother and herself from Bart's terrifying agenda."
Recent loss of eye sight? Aunt dying in a freak accident? Return home to small town for funeral? Any of these details could be the main story on their own, but they're all just exposition for the primary stalker drama at the center of His Perfect Obsession. Mercifully, it's all a little too melodramatic to seem real.
If it's a Lifetime take on true crime that you're looking for, then you might want to try The Night Stalker instead. Based on a true story, The Night Stalker chronicles the tale of Richard Ramirez, a serial killer convicted of murdering 13 people in California during the summer of 1985, CNN reported. While the story is based loosely on real events, it is also a dramatized retelling. The Night Stalker follows Kit, a fictional lawyer attempting to clear her client of allegations for crimes she believes to have been committed by Ramirez.
You could also try Stalking Laura, the 1993 Lifetime movie based on the true story of Richard Farley (Thomas Black) and Laura Black (Brooke Shields). According to the less-than-glowing Variety review, Black gets hired as a designer in Silicon Valley where she encounters Farley, an older co-worker that finds her immediately fascinating. She turns him down for a date, but soon his obsession grows...
Why not try combining all three into one nail-biting movie night this weekend? Just be sure to pull down the shades and lock the door, and maybe invite over a dozen or so of your closest friends to help keep you safe.