In My Nightmare Landlord (Vox, 2020) Lydia, a college student, is trying to find an apartment after breaking up with her abusive alcoholic boyfriend. She finds an apartment and is about the sign the lease when her ex-boyfriend shows up. This startles Lydia and causes her prospective landlord to throw caution to the wind by declining Lydia the apartment. Upon looking further she finds another apartment and moves in immediately. Her new landlord, Drew, seems very nice and does all he can to make sure she’s comfortable and all is taken care of. She’s grateful for all he’s done and does but she’s not interested in a new relationship. He, on the other hand, is interested in a new obsession – Lydia.
YOU BE MY TENANT, I’LL BE YOUR STALKER
Caroline Harris (Lydia) and Icnacyo Matynia (Drew) played their parts believably, especially Matynia. Although the viewer goes into the movie with key ingredients of Drew being a stalker, they are still taken on a ride that reminds everyone that it can happen to them.
REALISM VS. IDEALISM
My Nightmare Tenant leans more on the realistic side of things. Lydia, a college student, with not a lot of money finds the perfect apartment. Her first apartment. She has a best friend named Kaylee (Sinead D’arcy) who stands by her through thick and thin. Then there’s Drew, a very good looking landlord who is also the maintenance man. He’s kind, charming and looks out for the only other tenant seen in the movie, an elderly lady who gets confused as to where she is sometimes.
PACING THE OBSESSION
The pacing of Drew’s obsession with Lydia is well done. The viewer is not thrown into the psychotic world but is given a taste at the beginning when a female is shown to have drowned in a bathtub. The viewer clearly knows it’s was the handy work of Drew. However, it’s quickly forgotten until the scene is repeated with Lydia. Up to that point, the audience is drawn into both Lydia’s world and Drew’s world until the two collide.
The final act in which Drew and Lydia are fighting comes off very realistic. Whoever choreographed this dance has either been in such a situation or knows someone that has. And the exchange between Matynia and Harris during the fight definitely lets the audience know they have trust with each other enough to carry out the fight/struggle. It’s believable, frustrating, and frightening all at the same time.
From the fight to Lydia in the bathtub and her friend questioning her whereabouts to Drew only adds to the frustration the viewer will feel. As with the friend, the viewer is helpless in telling the cop Kaylee has called where Lydia is. The viewer is left riding the fear and frustration out along with Kaylee along with their anger towards Drew.
Well played, Lifetime Movie Network, well played.
My Nightmare Landlord – 2020 – Directed by Dylan Cox – Written by Naomi L. Selfman – Genre: Thriller – Country of Origin: United States – Currently playing Lifetime Movie Network.