Runtime: 65 minutes
Release Date: 2009
Director: Thomas Robins, David Stubbs
Beth (Beth Chote) moves to a new town called Reservoir Hill with her mother. Everyone in town stops and takes a second look when she passes by because she looks exactly like Tara, a young woman who vanished less than a year ago. She quickly notices a group of men in dark hoods staring at her wherever she goes, and people seem almost afraid of her.
She also becomes friends with some of Tara's old friends, including one girl who seems to be the only one in town who actually likes her. Another girl takes a photograph of her and passes it around to show people how much she looks like Tara. Beth keeps telling people that she isn't Tara, but she begins to wonder if they share a connection.
It doesn't help when she meets the family of the missing girl. Tara's sister has an emotional breakdown that lands her in the hospital, and she later refers to Beth by her sister's name. Tara's mother shouts at her and treats her like the devil, and the girl's brother is the only one who seems genuinely nice. She also manages to meet and start dating a guy, who was the last person seen with Tara before she went missing. All of this leads up to the “shocking” revelation at the end that explains what happened.
“Reservoir Hill” was one of those movies that left me going, what the fuck? Some reports claim that this was a failed pilot that a New Zealand network ran as a standalone movie, and apparently there was a second film made that follows the story from its ending. I really need to see that second film because I'm curious how they kept the story going.
I hate to spoil a movie for anyone, so if you don't want to know what happens, stop reading now.
It turns out that Beth is actually Tara. Tara was the most popular girl at school. Everyone feared her, but everyone wanted to be her best friend too. She ruled the school and treated everyone like crap, including her best friends. She and her sister had a fight, which led to her sister pushing her over a bridge. Her former friends lure her back to the bridge and reveal that they knew the truth all along.
They went down to the river, found her body, and drug her into an old building. They basically brainwash her into believing that she's actually Beth, and the woman she knew as her mother was in on it all along. The woman was a teacher who had her life ruined by Tara, so she was perfectly willing to go along with the whole scheme. I don't know about you, but if some chick ruined my life, the last thing I would want to do is be super close to her for six months.
That was just, I don't know, the last thing I expected. I'm not sure how a group of teenage girls could brainwash another girl into believing that she was a completely different person, especially given how strong they keep saying Tara was before. On top of that, how would a mother not realize the girl in front of her was her real daughter? Tara's sister notices it, but the mom just thinks the other girl is the devil. Of course, that doesn't stop her from totally accepting her at the end of the film.
“Reservoir Hill” is currently available on Netflix to watch instantly, just in case you want to give it a shot.