Writer: Stephen Kay (Screenplay)
Starring: Christina Ricci, Clea DuVall, Gregg Henry, Stephen McHattie, Sara Botsford, Hannah Anderson, Andrea Runge, Billy Campbell
Plot: The true story of Lizzie Borden, a young woman tried and acquitted in the 1892 murders of her father and stepmother.
Verdict: TV Case History
Story: Lizzie Borden Took an Axe starts by introducing us to the Borden family with Lizzie (Ricci) finding the butchered body of her father Andrew (McHattie). We are in the 1892 and the families all dress to impress while attending church on a weekly bases we have Lizzie, Andrew as well as Emma (DuVall), Abby and (Botsford). Lizzie dreams of getting out of the shadows her father casts and not wanting to become a victim of her father’s nature.
Lizzie continues to go against her father and her step mother Abby as she keeps getting accused of stealing. With Emma away the events follow with both Andrew and Abby getting murdered and the district attorney Hosea Knowlton (Henry) eyeing up Lizzie as the murderer. Old friend Andrew Jennings (Campbell) comes to the house to offer his services to Lizzie if she would require it.
What follows is Hosea trying to put together a case which does make Lizzie look guilty but he can’t find that evidence so the case goes before a judge to figure out what really happened.
Lizzie Borden Took an Axe is a story I have to say I am slightly confused about, I personally thought there was some sort of supernatural side to the story but this only look at the basic case. The story is one that still gets talked about today because it never got solved which instantly makes it an interesting story to look into. I do feel this version of the story never really gets into enough detail because it just seems to come off very slow and automatically makes Lizzie a villain which is disappointing because it may look like she was guilty but we will never know. (6/10)
Christina Ricci: Lizzie Borden is the very calm sister in the family who dreams off getting out from the shadows of her father, but as the tension rise the parents are murdered making her the prime suspect. This leaves us to wonder if she is the killer and if she is how she wants to prove her innocence. Christina does what we know she can giving us a god performance throughout. (7/10)
Billy Campbell: Andrew Jennings is the defence lawyer who knows the father and offers to defend Lizzie in the court case. He advises Lizzie during the trial as well as defending her. Billy gives a solid performance in the supporting role. (6/10)
Clea DuVall: Emma Borden is the sister of Lizzie, who wasn’t around during the murders. She starts by defending Lizzie but over time she starts to question her sister’s reaction after the murders. Clea also gives a solid performance but doesn’t do enough to make us care about her career. (6/10)
Gregg Henry: Hosea Knowlton is the District Attorney who wants to build a case against Lizzie and he has a good case but he does lack the evidence to fully convict without a trial. Gregg does a good job in the role opposite Ricci. (7/10)
Stephan McHattie: Andrew Borden is the father that gets murdered, he is very strict making Lizzie feel trapped inside her own home, not letting her see the world or find herself a husband, but just who killed him. Stephen may only have a small part but his character drives the motives to what everything happens and he does a good job. (7/10)
Support Cast: Lizzie Borden Took an Axe has a supporting cast of people who either help the case unfold without really doing enough for the whole story.
Director Review: Nick Gomez – Nick does a solid job telling just one theory of what happened in the case of Lizzie Borden. (6/10)
Crime: Lizzie Borden Took an Axe shows the crimes that were committed but never managed to figure out who really did it. (6/10)
Mystery: Lizzie Borden Took an Axe is a mystery we are still studying today, this film only offers one outcome. (9/10)
Thriller: Lizzie Borden Took an Axe doesn’t really make you wonder what will happen because we all know she doesn’t get found guilty and we don’t know who did the crime. (3/10)
Settings: Lizzie Borden Took an Axe creates authentic looking settings to match the time period in question. (9/10)
Suggestion: Lizzie Borden Took an Axe is one to try but it might as well just have been a crime show looking at one theory about what happened. (Try It)
Best Part: Ricci’s performance.
Worst Part: Not enough answers about what could have happened.
Believability: The case is real as is the mystery behind it. (10/10)
Chances of Tears: No (0/10)
Chances of Sequel: Ended up having its own television show.
Post Credits Scene: No
Oscar Chances: No
Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes
Trivia: The Medical Examiner’s Assistant was an uncredited courtesy role created by the film’s producers for Jono Borden, an author and regional authority on the Borden family based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was asked to consult on his family’s history and offered an appearance onscreen. The irony of his casting saw him assist in the fictionalized depiction of the postmortem examinations of his very real cousins, Andrew and Abby Borden, and in an alternative courtroom scene cut from the final film, present the exhumed skulls of his relations to the jurors.
Overall: Just one side to a story that is one of the most interesting in crime history.