Twisted Desire (1996) Melissa Joan Hart, Daniel Baldwin, Jeremy Jordan, Meadow Sisto, Kurt Fuller, David Lascher Movie Review

Twisted Desire (1996)   1/51/51/51/51/5

Melissa Joan Hart in Twisted Desire (1996)

Twister Teen Terror

Teenager, Jennifer Stanton (Melissa Joan Hart) is meant to be dating Brad (David Lascher), the trouble is that her strict father, William (Daniel Baldwin), is spoiling everything from making her dress sensibly to not being allowed out on a school night. Her mum is no better as she ends up agreeing with what ever William says which leads to Brad finishing with Jennifer. After her father humiliates her once again by showing up at a party and forcing her to leave Jennifer decides to do something about it and convinces Nick Ryan (Jeremy Jordan), an ex con who is sweet on her, to murder her parents. But Jennifer is only using Nick and it is part of her master plan to get Brad back.

As a Melissa Joan Hart fan I never thought I would use the words conniving cow in the same sentence. In fairness I am not talking about Melissa Joan Hart but her character she plays in "Twisted Desire", which is one of those made for TV movies from the 90s which were based on actual events. In this case it is the true story of Jessica Wiseman who convinced her older boyfriend to murder her parents. And to be honest whilst I had doubts about Melissa Joan Hart being convincing as a bad girl she certainly delivers a strong, manipulative performance in this.

Now the story to "Twisted Desire" is simple as having had enough of her strict father and mother Jennifer decides to seduce Nick and have him murder them so that with them out of the way with she can get back with Brad. And we see how all this transpires with Jennifer seducing and manipulating Nick so that he begins to hate her parents as much as she does. But whilst we get all this build up which establishes Jennifer being scheming, Nick being loved up and her father William being controlling we get the second half which following the murder there is the arrest of Nick. Except Jennifer's best friend discovers what Jennifer did and despite being threatened sets about seeing justice is done. As I said, it is simple and a lot of it is telegraphed such as the importance of the diary Jennifer kept.

What is surprising about "Twisted Desire" is not so much the story but the fact for a 90s made for TV movie it works so well. It isn't so much that director Craig R. Baxley does anything different than you find in other similar TV movies from the time but all the parts brought together work from the use of music to the casting. In fact the cast is very much key to the movie's success as Daniel Baldwin delivers unreasoning strictness quite brilliantly whilst Jeremy Jordan makes his bad guy quite a nice guy who made some bad decisions. But then there is Melissa Joan Hart who certainly makes Jennifer a manipulative young woman who has no morals when it comes to getting things her way and is in fact quite cold hearted.

What this all boils down to is that "Twisted Desire" ended up a pleasant surprise as for a mid 90s TV movie based on a true story it is far more entertaining than the norm. That doesn't though mean it is a great movie although one certainly worth watching if you are Melissa Joan Hart fan.