Carolyn Raeburn (Christina Cox) never thought she had anything to worry about when it came to her daughter Laura (Tina Ivlev) as like her she worked hard and at just 16 is graduating High School. But Carolyn's workaholic tendencies have left Laura feeling unloved especially when her mum and step-dad didn't even make her graduation instead trying to buy her off with a flashy sports car. That is when Laura starts hanging out at a ranch run by Marty (Paula Trickey) and her husband and Marty starts brainwashing her, turning her against her own mum. With the judicial system proving unable to help and at times even seeming to be against Carolyn she is forced to take matters in to her own hands to try and rescue her daughter before Marty manages to turn her completely against her.
I don't remember the exact words used at the start of "Crimes of the Mind" but what it amounted to was this movie was inspired by a true story but more than names were changed to protect those involved. And to be honest that is fair enough as I would imagine that for any one involved in the true story of what happened the subject is sensitive. But the movie does a decent job of getting across what I imagine went on in the real story.
What that means is that on one hand we have Carolyn's story where not only does she find the law unable to help in getting back her daughter but she also comes to realise that her workaholic tendencies were taking her away from her daughter. But then we get the story with Marty who having lost her daughter when she was about 16 now lures young girls to her ranch and then gets in to their minds to turn them against their parents and to become a replacement for her own daughter. We see how Marty uses a type of cruelty to make the girls want to stay and then turns violent towards anyone who dares to try and interfere in what she has going on. All of which is interesting and a snapshot of the subject but never really delivering the depth that could be gone in to with this sort of brain washing subject matter.
The thing is that "Crimes of the Mind" has that feel of a made for TV movie, it might well be as none of the information I found said it was made for big screen. As such it feels clunky at times, jumping to the next bit and relying on cliches to make it work. It is still a very good movie and one which keeps your attention with a good performance from Christina Cox in the lead role.
What this all boils down to is that "Crimes of the Mind" is entertaining and also interesting with this story of kidnapping and brain-washing. It is far from perfect and at times is a little too clunky but it manages to keep you watching from beginning to end.