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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Murder > Mystery > Serial Killer > Police > Detective > TV Series > The Lizzie Borden Chronicles (2015/Sony DVD Set)

The Lizzie Borden Chronicles (2015/Sony DVD Set)

Picture: B- Sound: B- Extras: C Episodes: C+

Christina Ricci, in my opinion, is one of Hollywood's most underrated actresses. She has a wide range and a sharp precision with her performances that is very apparent here in The Lizzie Borden Chronicles (2015), an eight episode Lifetime miniseries that is nicely produced and set in the late 1800's.

It's a pity that Tim Burton didn't have something to do with this, as I feel with his style this could have become a more richly textured piece. However, this fast paced series will keep your interest and features great co-stars in Cole Hauser (Pitch Black) and Clea DuVall (Girl Interrupted).

In 1893, four months after Lizzie Borden's (Ricci) acquittal for the murders of her father and stepmother, she and her sister Emma (DuVall) try to start a new life despite financial troubles and Lizzie's ruined reputation. Meanwhile, Pinkerton detective Charlie Siring (Hauser) arrives in Fall River to investigate the case for himself.

Episodes include Acts of Borden, Patron of the Arts, Flowers, Welcome to Maplecroft, Cold Storage, Fugitive Kind, The Sisters Grimke, and Capsize.

What holds the piece back are some of the stylistic choices. While not terribly shot, many of the murder scenes go in and out of focus with speed ramps that aim to intensify the carnage. However, the music used in these sequences (a twangy, kind of True Blood-esque melody) doesn't fit the time period or make the piece feel more edgy but slightly dated.

Presented in standard definition with an anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 with a lossy English 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track, the show looks and sounds fine on DVD but could certainly benefit to a high def upgrade. Extras include Deleted Scenes and a Gag Reel.

While not a complete waste, The Lizzie Borden Chronicles features a good performance by Christina Ricci, decent production design, and a few good kills. However, some of its stylistic choices could have been made more intelligently by a more refined director.

- James Lockhart



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