Lifetime’s A Deadly Adoption feels like a minor exaggeration of the Lifetime standard, which makes the project both slightly amusing and familiarly tiresome. Centering on a married couple who continues to reel after a miscarriage threatens the fabric of the family, the film uses Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig without much consideration for their comedic talents. Instead, the film walks a fine line between self-deprecation and poorly written melodrama, never firmly establishing itself as a parody or deadly serious drama. It’s dumbfounding. The tropes of the “Lifetime” genre (yes, that has definitively become a sub-genre in this day and age) are apparent: an idyllic family’s life being disrupted by a new presence, a deceptive villain who has far more underneath their surface, and countless murders that stem largely from people lying to one another. The film’s twists are abundant and often hilarious, and the dialogue proves ripe for repetition and awful stereotypes. Ultimately, though, what is the point of A Deadly Adoption? It’s merely a silly exercise in repeating the undeniably successful Lifetime movie formula without adding much else, making it full of chuckles but mostly a predictable chore.

Grade: ½ (out of 5)

Written by Eric Forthun