Lifetime's 'Death Clique': The Clique that Kills People
By Jason Harris | Film | May 8, 2014 |
Death Clique is possibly the most ill-named Lifetime movie I’ve seen. It sounds like some sort teenage girl-murder cult which, obviously, I would support 100 percent. At best it’s a death conspiracy and not a very large one at that.
Sara (Lexi Ainsworth) and Jade (Brittany Underwood) are childhood pals enjoying their senior year of high school. Sara is a rich girl going bad for some reason; Jade is ostensibly from the wrong side of the tracks. Neither is particularly menacing even in the Lifetime movie sense of the word.
Their cozy twosome is interrupted by Ashley (Tina Ivlev) who is menacing in the obvious way of Lifetime movies. As is the case in many of these films, her mother Tina (Michelle Clunie) is apparently independently wealthy as she can maintain a three bedroom house and always provide plenty of cash for Ashley to steal out of her purse even though her primary occupation appears to be “Getting hammered at all hours of the day.”
Ashley decides that Jade is destined to be her “BFF” and that Sara is a petite blond impediment to their eternal happiness. Gotta go, gotta go, ho.
Ashley is pretty obviously a lesbian obsessed with Jade. It’s never stated directly, but she’s always finding excuses to take pictures of herself kissing Jade and their dancing during the inevitable nightclub scene is a solid bump-n-grind. She even says “I love you” a few times. This movie would have been a lot better if it was on Cinemax in the 80s.
Ashley convinces Jade to invite Sara out and they drive to a conveniently abandoned warehouse in downtown L.A. for a rave. Who the hell is going to raves in 2014? Spot the clues, Sara.
Jade, because she’s dumb and/or a terrible friend, figures they’re just going to ditch Sara there. In an abandoned warehouse. Thirty minutes from home. Without her phone. And this was the compassionate plan. Jade, you are the goddamn worst.
Ashley ain’t about compassion. She ‘bout dat life, son. She stabs Sara in the gut with a 4-inch Swiss Army knife (for all the planning and scheming that went in to this, you’d think she’d bring a better murder weapon) and finishes her off while Jade stands there like a particularly stupid cow.
Now it’s time for my favorite montage: THREE-STATE MURDER SPREE. Well, no. You’d think a “death clique” might involve a bit more death, but they are all death-ed out. I demand more death from my death cliques.
Ashley nicely sets up Jade by getting Jade’s prints all over the knife. Hey, she’s in love. She’s not stupid. She then dumps Sara’s phone in the cab of a tractor-trailer (I was hoping this would lead to her going on the run as a lot lizard) and goes about her merry way. She got that pimp juice.
Jade, meanwhile, hides in her room and avoids Ashley all weekend. Handle your shit, Jade! You’re in this too.
Ashley, for her part, is leaving phone messages like “I need you.” “I really want to see you. I wish you were here.” “I wanna make your pinkie all stinky.” All she needs is a Lilith Faire t-shirt to complete the effect.
Ashley’s mother sees the girls come back after the murder, but she’s drunk and Ashley slaps her around when she starts getting lippy. Bitch Dependency Syndrome over Jade notwithstanding, Ashley keeps her Pimp Hand strong. Gots her bitches in check.
Sara’s parents are concerned when they discover she’s been out all night. Well, her mother Lana (Barbara Alyn Woods) is concerned. Sara has run away before and, frankly, her father just can’t be arsed. Neither can the police, but we get an Asian detective to go with our black trucker. Neither gets more than about five total lines, but two characters of color practically makes this a Spike Lee Joint by Lifetime standards.
Jade is pulled out of class Monday (or maybe Tuesday) morning for questioning and cracks immediately. She admits she was there when Sara was killed, but that Ashley committed the murder. Snitches get stitches, Jade. You’ll never survive on the inside.
Ashley spins an elegant web of lies and walks free while Jade is arrested and charged with murder. She spots a new “friend” at school the next day (she likes brunettes) and starts laying down game. Ashley don’t love them hoes.
Because we have to maintain the illusion of her heterosexuality, she accepts a date from a sleazy dude who says, “I just think it would be cool to go to the dance with someone on the news.” Remember, SHE’S ON THE NEWS FOR SHANKING A CLASSMATE AND LEAVING HER TO ROT IN A VACANT WAREHOUSE FOR A POORLY DEFINED NUMBER OF DAYS. I like bad girls too, dude, but I draw the line at murderous sociopaths.
The date ends badly when said sleaze tries to kiss her and gets a bloody lip for his troubles. Better than a blade in the ribs, at least, but now Ashley is on her way home with a hate-boner.
Meanwhile, Lana has been playing amateur sleuth. Which mostly consists of questioning Jade and Tina REALLY INTENSELY. She goes to Tina and gives her some domestic violence counseling, telling her to stand up to Ashley. Lana is a hater.
In something less than a shock, Ashley comes in right at that moment. Somebody trying to peel her bottom bitch? AW, HELL NAW, SON. She’s about whoop dat trick, when Tina gets some spine and challenges her. She tells Ashley that she’s going to tell the police that she was out with Jade the night of the murder, and that she saw Ashley cleaning blood from her boots the next day.
Ashley, in a shocking lapse from an otherwise slick character, of course admits her crime. “No one will believe you, you old drunk.” Sloppy, Ashley! Never admit to anything. That’s when the detectives come out of hiding. They heard the confession. Player down! We need Pimp CPR (CPimpR?).
Is Ashley going out soft? HELL, NAW. Well, she makes a break for it, but there are more cops stationed outside. In the end, she’s reduced to begging her mother for help. What a shameful display. Don’t be no bitch, Ashley. You fumble in the game, you get locked up.
Really, it was a terrible climax. Ashley deserved to go out in a blaze of glory or at least a threat to kill the hostages if she doesn’t get a helicopter.
We end with Lana and Daddy Dontgiveashit hugging on the front lawn. It’s clear the movie was supposed to end with Ashley’s arrest but the running time turned up a few minutes short.
The lesbian angle is kind of new for Lifetime and Ashley is kind of fun for her slowly mounting craziness. It’s a much better movie if you turn it off 5 minutes early. Then you can imagine it’s the story of a young pimp triumphing over assorted hookers, haters and hoes.
Jason Harris has an unhealthy obsession with Cinemax in the 80s. He also has a grip of iron.
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