The Christmas Trap / Christmas in the Heartland (2018)

dir. Harvey Lowry

With its title, The Christmas Trap is pretty blatant about being a Christmas-themed rip-off of The Parent Trap. Okay, fine. Except in this film, the two main girls Kara and Jessie don’t meet at summer camp, but on a plane. And in this film, they’re not twins. They’re in fact complete and utter strangers, who spontaneously decide to take each other’s places after a couple of hours chatting on a plane. There’s no real reason for it, except they just kind of can’t be bothered to see their own respective families. Most fortunately for them, neither girl’s grandparents has apparently even seen a photo of their own granddaughter before, so the ruse works for quite a long time. The Christmas Trap is honestly just kind of spiteful, with the layers of deceit going well beyond the girls’ weird prank. There’s so much more lying and betrayal and infidelity where that came from! But it’s okay, because it ends with all the cast singing a happy pop song. What an absolutely unsettling experience.

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