Review

  • Warning: Spoilers
    "My Family's Secret" has to be one of the more unpleasant of the Lifetime film scenarios. It is a sordid tale of child abuse, murder, and psychosis with few redeeming values.

    The nicest character is Lara Darcie, who is desperate to help her husband get the care that he needs after a failed suicide attempt. When Lara married Jason, he refused to invite any of his family members to the wedding or even to disclose anything about them to his fiancée. To Lara, that should have been a sign of trouble.

    Needing funds for her husband's treatment, Lara visits Coville where Jason grew up with his younger siblings, Grady and Kara Lynn. The little girl died under suspicious circumstances, and the finger points to the abusive father, who now suffers from dementia.

    Lara's first contact with Grady appears successful, as he agrees to assist her with a loan. But it soon becomes clear to the viewer that Grady suffers from dissociative identity disorder. Indeed, the different personalities that inhabit Grady tear him in different directions. The enforcer side of his psyche is "William," who will stop at nothing in order to "protect" the sensitive side of Grady's fragile self. The first casualty in the film is dear Auntie June, who falls down a set of stairs to her death with assistance from "William."

    By the time that Lara makes the ghoulish discovery of the family secret that William/Grady suffocated little Kara Lynn to keep her quiet so that the demented father would not hear them, the film has induced nausea in the viewer.

    The filmmakers try to impose a happy denouement on the drama with a scene that reveals Lara Darcie as seven months pregnant and a revitalized Jason out of in-patient care and cracking jokes. But the tacked-on ending cannot make up for the disturbing events that had occurred at 297 Canal Street in Coville.