Megachurch Murder (Review)

Megachurch Murder

Megachurch Murder
Written by Kendall Clark
Directed by Darin Scott

Megachurch Murder
Megachurch Murder is a pretty keen take on Hamlet played in the world of church politics, complete with a ton of Shakespeare references tossed in. Hannah Spears (Shanica Knowles) is our Hamlet, her father, Hamilton Spears (Malcolm-Jamal Warner), winds up mysteriously dead, and the new church leader both announces a massive expansion of the church and also moves in on Hamilton’s widow, Martha Spears (Tamala Jones).

It’s important to note that Shaker Point, the church, is not a megachurch. The megachurch is the concept that new church leader Clay King (Michael Beach) proposes after his ascent to power. He’s supported by his son Marcus King (Corbin Bleu), while black sheep son Oliver King (Romeo Miller) is assigned to look after Hannah. Hannah has not taken her father’s death well, as highlighted by her showing up drunk to the church service that announces the expansion and ranting at the audience about disrespecting her father’s memory. No one takes Hannah seriously due to her constant drunken state (even Hannah), until she discovers a flash drive with a video message from Hamilton Spears to her detailing the shady goings on in the church leadership, and how he fears he’s in danger. But that drunk Hannah spills her wine all over the flash drive, meaning she has to enlist her computer-savy friend Harlow Gillman (Santana Dempsey ) to recover the message, which will take most of the film.
Megachurch Murder
While that waits, Hannah tips her hand a few times with her suspicions, leading Clay to target her for elimination. Marcus’s scheme to drug her fails (Hannah has decided to remain sober during her investigation, but only pretend to be drunk so no one suspects her, thus she doesn’t ingest anything), and his attempts to grab her in church in front of her mother causes Hannah to fight back and Marcus to fall to his death off the balcony. At this point Hannah’s mom Martha suspects Clay knows more than he’s letting on about Hamilton’s death, and soon all the Spears and King family members are confronting each other on a bridge, and they all won’t get out alive (Though the body count is a bit lower than in actual Hamlet!)
Megachurch Murder
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Megachurch Murder brings the unholy spirit to Lifetime!

Megachurch Murder Lifetime

And the Lord sayth: “Don’t ask me about the Bill Cosby allegations!”

Murder, church, and megas, the three things that combine to make a brand new Lifetime Channel film! Megachurch Murder is the first “Mega-” movie I’ve seen that’s not a monster movie nor a movie about a blue supervillain. What it does cover is megachurches. Now, I went to several churches growing up, usually black churches. Most of them were small churches with maybe 200 worshipers at most. The whole “megachurch” thing just seems so weird to me. Why would you want to be part of thousands of people, going to a church where it’s highly unlikely that you would even know the pastor, and so big you just get lost in the crowd? It seems like the opposite of what I’d consider church, but that’s just me. Everyone worships differently, and if you like megachurches, more power to you. Now with that out of the way, let’s bring on the murder!

After popular and charismatic megachurch leader Hamilton Spears commits suicide, his teenage daughter Hannah’s life goes off the rails. The only thing keeping her together is her new boyfriend, Oliver. When she finds evidence pointing to a church conspiracy and threats toward her father, she is determined to prove that Hamilton’s death was murder not suicide. As she gets closer to the truth, she realizes her own mother may be involved in her father’s murder…and that the boy she is falling in love with is the son of his killer.

You got to love crazy murder stories, this one will probably be completely nuts. It sounds great, and the premise allows them to do some really dramatic stuff. Here’s hoping for a solid winner! Megachurch Murder stars Tamala Jones, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Michael Beach, Shanica Knowles, Romeo Miller, Corbin Bleu, and Dawnn Lewis.

Megachurch Murder is directed by Darin Scott (House Party: Tonight’s the Night) and written by Kendall Clark (their only credit). Megachurch Murder premieres February 7th on Lifetime Channel!

via Lifetime/Toni Scott