The Lizzie Borden Chronicles – Early Review of First Episodes – No Spoilers
By Lynn Sorel
Rating: 8 out of 10
Synopsis: Follows Lizzie Andrew Borden, an American woman who was tried for murder in Fall River, Massachusetts.
Our Thoughts: Lifetime’s limited series ‘The Lizzie Borden Chronicles’ picks up 4 months after Lizzie’s acquittal after being on trial for the murder of her parents, as shown in last year’s ‘Lizzie Borden Took An Ax’. It is a fictionalized continuation of her life after her parents are killed.
Suspecting that she is actually guilty of the crimes, private detective Charlie Siringo starts investigating Lizzie when those around her start turning up dead. Christina Ricci reprises her role as the notorious Lizzie Borden, along with Clea DuVall who plays her sister Emma. Cole Hauser joins the cast as Pinkerton detective Charlie Siringo, along with John Heard as Andrew Bordens’s ex business partner William Almy, Andrew Howard as half brother William, and Jessy Schram who plays Nancy O’Keefe.
For those who enjoyed the first film, the new the limited series is everything you could hope it would be. It carries on the tone of the original film, condensing it in a way that makes it more even more effective than the original. Keeping the elements we enjoyed from ‘Lizzie Borden Took An Ax’, ‘Chronicles’ takes things up a notch, quickly adding to the body count the movie started. The first film is historically accurate for the most part, so we knew that it was going to end in Lizzie’s acquittal. However, this series is fictionalized, so it has an additional element of mystery as to where it will go.
Ricci is, as in the original film, a joy to watch on screen and a perfect fit for the role of Lizzie Borden. She is delightfully devious and absolutely creepy as hell. As a fan of Ricci, Borden is definitely one of my favorite characters that she has portrayed. Cole Hauser is excellent as the highly intelligent Siringo, and makes the perfect adversary for Lizzie. Clea Du Vall creates a sympathetic character in her reprisal of Lizzie’s traumatized sister Emma.
The only criticism I can say I have is the some of the modern music used in the series. I’m not sure it entirely fits. Although, at this point, between the movie and the series I’ve gotten used to it, and it does play up element of fun in their portrayal of the story.
Overall, Lifetime’s ‘Lizzie Borden’ is just plain fun to watch. For someone who has not watched much of anything on Lifetime, and wasn’t expecting a lot in the way of horror, I was impressed with the amount of blood and gruesomeness they gave us. For horror fans contemplating writing off the series, give it a shot. You won’t be disappointed.
‘The Lizzie Borden Chronicles’ is shaping up to be a great limited series and I’m very excited to see more episodes! As a horror fan, I’d love to see more historical serial killer portrayals, real or fictional, from Lifetime.
‘Lizzie Borden Took An Ax’ is currently streaming on Netflix.
‘The Lizzie Borden Chronicles’ premieres Sunday April 5 on Lifetime at 10pm. You can view a clip from the series below.