Directed by Sam Coyle, Meet the Killer Parents gives away the plot twist in the title itself. So, you can start to watch this flick with detached amusement, as you already know what’s coming. Cashing in on thrillers like Get Out, it feels like the writer Mike Rinaldi planned to do a weird spin on the Jordan Peele film and tried to keep the audience guessing as to why the characters are doing what they are doing. It doesn’t work, let me add, because the performances are so on the nose that we see the twists coming from a mile away.
The plot revolves around Grace, an orphaned young woman who thinks she has found her soulmate in Rob, who is the son of a magnate. She is going to meet his parents Stephen and Miriam Whitby, as a formal introduction. She doesn’t know that the Whitby family has its own perverted secrets that are connected to Jenny, Rob’s sister, who went missing several years ago.
Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Film?
Grace has had a tough life. She lost her father at a very young age and was left to fight for her survival. In her teens, she lost her mother as well. Her best friend, May, knows the hellish days she has been through. But it’s all about to end because now she has a possible proposal on her hands. Rob, her boyfriend, has planned a trip to his parents’ estate, and the big meeting meant that he could propose. It is a big step for her as well, but she is confident that she will leave a good impression on them.
Grace is not really after his wealth. She knows that Rob’s parents are wealthy, but the relationship was purely based on mutual attraction. Rob’s being wealthy was just an added benefit. She would have an easier life now, financially speaking. She put herself through high school and managed to stand up on her feet, even after the hardships. She trusts Rob, but before the trip began, she began to sense a change in Rob’s behavior. She pinned it on the fact that this meeting was a huge step for him too, and maybe he was a bit nervous about his parents’ reaction.
Grace and Rob reach their destination and are greeted by Stephen and Miriam, Rob’s parents. Grace is a bit taken aback by the grandeur of the place. Stephen and Miriam lived in a state-of-the-art mansion surrounded by forests that ran as far as she could see. The secluded place oozed beauty and splendor, and Grace was absolutely mesmerized by it. There is a tension over whether they will view Grace as someone after Rob’s money, which is one of the most insulting things imaginable. But they come of as an extremely welcoming and generous couple. They give her a tour of the place and prepare for dinner. Grace is put at ease, and the four of them have conversations that don’t suggest any hidden conflict. Grace doesn’t commit any faux pas, except that she entered the forbidden place—Jenny’s room.
What Happened To Jenny?
Jenny was Rob’s sister. Away from Stephen and Miriam, she gets a chance to ask Rob about his sister. From the time they were in a relationship, Rob didn’t mention her even once, which was quite odd. Rob acts nervous and explains that Jenny is his sister and that she disappeared years ago and hasn’t been found since. Statistically speaking, there is almost no chance she is alive or that her body will ever be discovered. He vehemently requests that Grace keep this information to herself and never bring it up in front of Stephen or Miriam. They have every luxury they can dream of, but Jenny’s disappearance is a major sore point that still disturbs them. Grace is a little worried about why Rob didn’t tell her about such a tragic incident earlier, but she agrees not to poke into the matter any further. She tries to put her mind at rest, but the issue slips out during dinner. It was a sheer accident, but she upsets everybody on the table. Grace herself was feeling a little uneasy. She thought it was the wine, but she didn’t know that Stephen was drugging her and that Rob had planned the trip specifically to let Stephen execute a perverted plan. Everybody was in on this plan except Penelope, the housekeeper.
What Does Penelope Reveal?
Grace, after bringing up Jenny, was feeling a little guilty herself. Stephen and Miriam come to explain their side of the painful story of how they found out about Jenny’s disappearance. Grace actually began to think that they liked her. All except Penelope. Grace thought Penelope didn’t like her, as she had her eyes on Rob and wanted to break their blossoming relationship. Grace brings the topic up with him, and he dismisses it as being baseless and preposterous. When she gets her chance, Grace confronts Penelope about the harsh looks she has been giving her ever since she showed up at the place.
Penelope couldn’t care less about her. She reveals that she was one of the many young girls that Rob’s brought to the house to meet Stephen and Miriam. The weird fact about it was that they all looked almost alike, and Grace is no exception. Penelope warns her to return to wherever she came from because the girls Rob brought have all disappeared without trace. Grace dismisses Penelope’s rant as just her ploy to drive a wedge between her and Rob, but she wasn’t lying. Although Penelope didn’t know, Rob preyed on orphan girls and brought them for Stephen and Miriam, and they tried to groom the girls into looking like Jenny. They even had equipment that altered anybody’s eye color. Penelope’s mother, Abigail, was aware of it, but she died, and the Whitbys replaced her with Penelope. Even after the warning, Grace doesn’t run away and is ultimately caught, and the metamorphosis begins.
Why Does Grace Kill Her Friend May?
Before getting trapped, Grace had informed May about Jenny. May was already wary of super-wealthy folks and was hoping they didn’t turn out like she assumed they would. The Whitbys are worse than she imagined. She tries to research Jenny’s disappearance on the web, but strangely, there is no news about the missing case of such a wealthy and almost famous family. She smells something fishy and tries contacting Grace, whose cell phone was in Miriam’s possession. To avoid any disruption in their plan, she texts May, posing as Grace, and tells her that she is having a wonderful time. May knows her behavior doesn’t add up and tries to track Grace. It wasn’t as if Grace had given up. Trapped, she was looking for an opportunity to get out. Using her lockpicking skills she had picked up during her younger years as an orphan, she manages to get out and is helped by Penelope to escape. Unfortunately, May arrives, suspects Penelope of being the abductor, and attacks her. Before May could take Grace away, the Whitbys arrive and capture May and Grace, while Miriam proceeds to bludgeon Penelope to death with a club. All hope seems to be lost, and Grace begins to abide by Stephen and Miriam’s instructions.
Miriam was a pageant winner and was grooming Jenny to be one. Stephen loved her more than anybody else, and her disappearance made him yearn for her intensely. He wanted Jenny back in his life, and Grace was it. They made her perform the pageant walk, just as Jenny would have done if she were with them. Gradually, Grace too started to call Stephen her father. This was her ploy to get away. One day before they changed her eye color to match Jenny’s, she tried to run away but ran into Rob. She seduces him by telling him to relive his days as her boyfriend before she becomes his sister. Rob takes her to the jacuzzi and reveals how he killed Jenny because she was Stephen’s favorite and even Miriam secretly hated her. Now that Grace was to be the “new” Jenny, his hatred suddenly reveals itself, and he begins to choke Grace. He might have killed the previously brought girls in a similar fashion, but this time, luckily, Stephen arrives and attacks Rob. Grace tries to turn Stephen against Rob by revealing that he and Miriam hated Jenny and killed her. When Rob attacks Stephen, she runs away to save May and leaves the Whitbys to sort out their own devilish family dynamics. May and Grace return to kill Miriam, and Grace ends up helping Stephen drown Rob in the Jacuzzi. Strangely, Grace really starts to care for Stephen, who has lost his entire family. When May starts to call the police, she attacks her, and May ends up dead. In the end, we see the blue-eyed Grace having green eyes, just like Jenny, which meant she had accepted her life as Stephen’s long-lost daughter, who had finally returned.
The sudden shift in her decision could be a case of Stockholm syndrome, as May pointed out before Grace killed her. According to me, she was always after Rob’s wealth. She could not go back to her old life of hardship. She gets Stephen to promise to give away all of his wealth to her, which is when she decides to stop May from calling the police. Slightly adding to her changed personality might be the fact that she had been groomed so much by Stephen that perhaps she lost parts of her identity altogether and was willing to live as Jenny her whole life. Grace’s father died when she was three years old. She didn’t have a father practically all of her life, and Stephen really loved her daughter Jenny. Grace’s agreement to live with Stephen as his daughter benefited her financially and emotionally. Now she would never want anything in this life except mercy. It is possible that the guilt of being involved in bloodshed would overpower her, and that would be the day when she would repent for killing her only friend, May, if not Rob or Miriam.
Meet The Killer Parents is a 2023 thriller film directed by Sam Coyle.