A Wife's Nightmare

5.91 h 27 min2015X-Ray13+
Inspired by a true story. When a mysterious teenage girl shows up on their doorstep claiming to be her husband's long lost daughter, Liz Michaels welcomes her into their home - but when Liz starts to feel pushed out of her own family, she begins to question the girl's true motives and doubt her own sanity.
Vic Sarin
Jennifer BealsDylan NealSpencer List
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Meyer ShwarzsteinKim C. RobertsTina PehmeLarry GershmanJohn Bolton
Sepia Films
Content advisory
Alcohol usefoul languagesexual contentviolence
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3.8 out of 5 stars

316 global ratings

  1. 47% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 19% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 12% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 7% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 15% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

QQQQReviewed in the United States on February 15, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent NPD Primer!
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Unfortunately, I was able to recognize where this was going right off the bat. For the naive many who have no idea what NPD is all about, like I was, this is an excellent opportunity to witness what living with a true narcissist is really like. The mind xxxing she is being dealt is called “Gas Lighting”, you can watch the 1944 version ‘Gas Light’ of a movie here on Prime Video that personafide the behavior and gave it it’s name. I have (temporarily) one of these parasites living off of me for far too long. This movie does an excellent job of showing you where an NPD will take you. It doesn’t start with the courtship which is termed “love bombing.” More viscous is the ‘malignant narcissist’ and the prognosis for the ‘host’ is very grim. I started to watch this movie to get my mind off of this very subject and felt compelled to keep watching to verify that here the subject is again, like an inescapable nightmare. If you are single or are involved in a “what is wrong with this?” situation, you need to watch this and then search more terms like, ‘ghosting’ ‘flying monkeys’ ‘negging’ to open your eyes and mind to what are thought to be only about 1 in 50 of the population. If you’re with someone that has your gut going like an unbalanced washer on spin-dry, herein lies the answer. This is an excellent primer.
63 people found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on February 11, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
Decent movie but don't believe the 5 star reviews
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I don't get all the 5 star reviews. It's a basic lifetime channel movie, pretty predictable and cheesy. It's watchable. Jennifer Beals plays a wife and mom who's husband's long lost daughter shows up on their doorstep. She's quick to embrace her into the family but things aren't always what they seem. Eh...it was okay.
24 people found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on February 9, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
It created a very successful character
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It created a very successful character -- the husband. He is so disgusting and such a total loser and I almost feel I want to break into my computer to punch this dude as well. For this I regard this movie as successful.
How can woman loves such kind of loser for such long time? I am a guy and married and I am really curious about it. Is it the woman herself too nice to be stupid?
16 people found this helpful
TwoCentsReviewed in the United States on April 20, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
Trust your woman's intuition!
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Thank the organization that gave this movie a TV-PG rating for my one star review rating. I'm tired of being misled.

I was looking for this to movie to be more like the 1990 PG rated "Caroline?" starring Stephanie Zimbalist, another Anastasia-type mysterious "daughter" showing up whose identity is questionable. NOT!

This movie has a pretty steamy, albeit very brief, sex scene at the end, between a 19 year old teenager and a married man. I was not expecting to see two partially nude people in bed simulating sex in a TV movie, let alone a TV movie rated PG.

I understand that this is based on a true story, and that the son walked in on his father with the girl that he had been told was, and believed to be, his older sister. (A new low.) I get that. But It would have been enough just to show his reaction to what he was seeing. TV-PG!

Shifting gears: Trust your instincts. Use your head. Investigate, research, get proof, document. Don't be too quick to invite a stranger into your home, no matter their situation, or who you think it is. That's what I learned from this story based on true events.
13 people found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on June 21, 2020
2.0 out of 5 stars
Offensive main character
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There is so much wrong here, I don't quite know where to start. Two big factors prevented this being even a decent made-for-TV movie. First - the main character was highly unlikable, and the "villain"/pawn was deeply sympathetic. The ending shows clearly and painfully that she's not a bad person. Second, and this is connected to the first - the main character seems to believe and promote the idea that her guy's possible pedophilia *is the VICTIM'S fault*!!! 0.o WOW. That's...demonic, among other things. SHE'S A KID. The main character also comes across as more of a despicable loser than a sympathetic victim even at the very end when the truth comes out. How is she shown as sympathetic when she never even takes responsibility or shows real repentance for the vicious things she said to her own son, instead blaming it on her "condition" and claiming that "it wasn't me," etc? I just could not dredge up any empathy for her even in what should've been her most sympathetic moments. Beals did a fine acting job, but there's just this underlying sense of cruelty and crassness about this character. I actually wondered if she was so crazy that some of the inappropriate things being shown were her imaginings. The old unreliable narrator trick. Honestly, the story might've been so much better if it had been that, or at least something that doesn't make her out to be some kind of hero, which she is NOT.

There's also a totally unnecessary, lurid sex scene at the end. It wouldn't have been quite so objectionable if not for the implied eroticization of pedophilia. Even in retrospect, it was a revoltingly offensive (not to mention, cheap) move on the part of the filmmakers.

Two stars for the all-around fine acting and the entertainment value throughout most of the film. Also, the twist did take me by complete surprise, and was a good one. What a relief! It was also satisfying, but partly because it showed the depth of the main character's foolishness, which isn't really a hallmark of a good story.
3 people found this helpful
P-JavieraReviewed in the United States on May 29, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Perfect title for this tale of a parasite relationship.
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Jennifer Beal's acting was just wonderful and so true to her character, as were the rest of the cast, all of whom played their roles perfectly.
This is a well portrayed story of a loving and kind woman who was totally used and abused by a narcissistic worthless looser of a husband,. So totally blinded by her love, she was just unable to see her husband''s true character. She had exhausted herself trying to keep her home and family comfortable, that she had a breakdown because she was unable to see how his parasitic nature had drained her. After years of letting her provide a beautiful home and cozy lifestyle, allowing him to "play" with his music, he shows his true character enough when he brings into her home his mistress, passing her off as his long lost daughter! I just wish they had played out more of his humiliation by exposing his true character to their many friends, who had turned a blind eye to his spoiled lifestyle. It would have been nice to see them all come to her side as they woke up and saw him for what he truly was, for they must have known that he was sucking his wife's energy throughout the marriage. So glad to see his son finally realize the truth, and come to his mother's aid at the end. I enjoyed the movie, and would recommend it to friends.
4 people found this helpful
The Casual ReviewReviewed in the United States on June 2, 2020
2.0 out of 5 stars
A Viewer's Nightmare
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I try to be a pretty nice reviewer. Somebody wrote this. Makeup artists, lighting people, etc. probably gave their all. Someone in this movie will probably be telling their grandkids about a movie they were in once for15 seconds. I don't give too many 1 or 2 star reviews, however I will make an exception for this film. This seems like it was probably a Lifetime movie. You can easily put the acting in two buckets. The women (mother and "daughter") weren't bad. Beals is capable of much better but the material she has to work with drags her down. The men (father and son) were beyond bad. Its one of those movies where you think I could do better than that and in this case you would probably be right. The movie makes you sit through what looks like a very queasy semi incest angle before giving you the big reveal to your relief. There are so many bad script moments I lost count. For instance, the entire family is brawling in the front yard which brings out the whole neighborhood to watch. The "daughter" gets in her car to leave and magically all the neighbors are gone.

Usually I can see how someone can give a 5 star review even if I am way different. Honestly I don't get how anyone give this a 5, but to each his own.
3 people found this helpful
sierrasevenReviewed in the United States on February 2, 2021
2.0 out of 5 stars
The movie that answers the question ...
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The movie that answers the question "Whatever happened to Jennifer Beals?"
The plot is somewhat interesting, but the film is not very well written. The viewer catches on pretty quickly that this is a gaslighting situation, and by the time the deep dark secret is revealed, it's not much of a surprise. There are a few minor plot holes that don't really matter much. The happy ending leaves some plot threads hanging, such as, the house was about to be foreclosed and she lost her job - how was this magically fixed? But the real mystery is why a smart, talented architect working for a top firm put up with a layabout has-been musician husband not contributing a dime to the family income for years. I suppose it's a tribute to the actor playing the husband that I disliked the character immediately.
This is a good movie to watch while you cook dinner and wash the dishes ... or refinish furniture ... or do other chores that leave your brain half-unoccupied.
One person found this helpful
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