Friday, February 26, 2021

Movie Review: Chronicle Mysteries - Helped to Death

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong mystery, fun characters
Cons: Usual light cheese factor
The Bottom Line:
A nearby retreat
Has suspicious accident
Entertaining flick

“How Are Those Two Not a Thing Yet?”  “Right?  So Slow!”

As much as I do enjoy Hallmark’s mystery movies, I’ve really enjoying the slower rollout of new movies this year.  Okay, so that’s due to the pandemic slowing down production, but still, having a couple of movies a month, one each from their different franchises is nice.  We get to reconnect with our friends without being overwhelmed with new movies.  This week, we revisited the characters from Chronicle Mysteries with Helped to Death.

Billy Garrett (Lochlyn Munro) is a local self-help guru who ran a nearby retreat center.  After a guest was killed there, he spent time in jail for negligent manslaughter.  But now he is out, and he is opening back up.  Podcaster Alex McPherson (Allison Sweeney) thinks the retreat would make a good series of stories for her show, especially when the Chronicle’s new intern, Zack (Ian Collins) leaves a potentially suspicious voicemail message after a weekend up there.

With Drew Godfrey (Benjamin Ayres) coming along as well, Alex arrives for a few days of interviewing the staff and guests.  However, when one of the guests dies under mysterious circumstances, Alex can’t help but start investigating.  Is the past repeating itself?

Before we get any further, I do have to laugh at Lochlyn Munro popping up in this movie since he played the murder victim in last week’s Crossword Mystery.  I get it, the movies are produced in the same area, so they go to the local talent pool to hire the many needed new characters.  And these aren’t the only Hallmark mystery movies he’s popped up in.  But I still found it a fun coincidence.

This movie presents a solid mystery.  While I was sure that the supposed accident was murder, I wasn’t sure who done it or why until Alex figured it out.  The motives and suspects were plentiful, which is always great for a mystery.

The characters are fun as always.  The usual characters for this franchise are all here, and it was great to see them again.  We meet a new character I’m hoping we’ll see again.  And the suspects do their job of confusing us perfectly.

Either I’m getting more immune to Hallmark’s cheese the more I’ve watched or they are getting better at hiding it (or both), because I found a minimal amount of cheese in this movie.  (Although there is one line that, just wow!  No one could have made that line believable.)  Anyway, if you are a fan of Hallmark’s movies, you won’t be bothered by what you get here.

Hallmark continues to offer diverting mystery movies that entertain.  If you haven’t caught Helped to Death yet, be sure to catch it soon.

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