If there's such a thing as the WTF?! school of filmmaking, consider "Stalkers" (8 tonight, Lifetime), a masterpiece of the genre.
It is a movie so wack-a-doo, so artless, so misguided, so...many things, I wonder whether reviewing it makes me complicit. I don't want viewership of this movie on my conscience.
Detective Diane Harkin (Drea de Matteo) is new to the Seattle police force, and she's not trying to ingratiate herself to her colleagues, not even her partner Cliff (Henry Simmons). She's tough and quick tempered; we know this because she doesn't smile much, she wears leather and, in an early scene, she tries to choke a suspect. Sure, he's handcuffed and being escorted by two officers, but still. She would have put a hurtin' on him.
On the other hand, you've got to understand Harkin's frustration. She's apparently one of the few people in her town to think stalking should be taken seriously. Let's take a step back: "Stalkers" is one of those "inspired"-by-a-true-story movies, and its story is taken from the book “Whisper of Fear: The True Story of the Prosecutor Who Stalks the Stalkers”, by Rhonda Saunders, a criminal prosecutor who wrote the law on stalking in California. As far as I can tell that book came out in 2008, which explains why this movie feels so dated.
As I was saying, in all of Seattle, modern-day Seattle, stalking is just a big joke to police. And District Attorneys. Except for Julia Winston (Jodi O'Keefe), an ambitious A.D.A. who wants to establish a task force on stalking but is rebuffed in that effort by the married D.A. who she has been sleeping with. (Among its flaws, this movie has strange notions about what makes a woman strong and independent.)
Diane and Julia get to join forces when they try to help Jane (Lela Loren), who is being terrorized by her former lover Ivy (Mena Suvari). I'm pretty sure that the lesbian angle is the sole reason this case, above all others in the book, was chosen. That way, the film could recreate a steamy girl-on-girl love scene and get you all hot and bothered because, as Jane points out, even if you're a woman who hasn't been with a woman before, you've thought about it, right? And if you're a guy, as one cop listening to the Sapphic recreation demonstrates, what's a bigger turn-on then two women doing the nasty?
Performance-wise, no one is good in this movie. I'm not sure anyone could be and frankly, I don't blame them for not trying. de Matteo was on "The Sopranos" and Suvari starred in "American Beauty." This has got to be painful for them both.
I have a strict rule about not being a spoiler, so I won't go into details. Suffice it to say, there are several especially stupid, implausible things that happen in this movie, culminating in an ending that equates empowerment with murder. (See my earlier observation about strange notions.)
"Stalkers" makes me want to hunt down the people who greenlit this mess.