Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Lifetime drops a breathless trailer for its movie about the NXIVM sex cult

NXIVM, the bizarre “sex cult” that counted Smallville actress Allison Mack in its ranks, is too weird a story to not get dissected to death. HBO, for example, has a documentary on the way, while Lifetime, as one might expect, wasted little time in putting together its own sensational depiction. Today, the network released a trailer for its take, and, well, it’s about as unsubtle as you’d expect. A breathy “Yes, Master” punctuates each escalating beat, and now we just really need to take a shower.


Escaping The NXIVM Cult: A Mother’s Fight To Save Her Daughter is based on Catherine Oxenberg’s Captive, a memoir about her efforts to extract her daughter, India, from the orbit of NXIVM founder Keith Raniere. Twilight’s Peter Facinelli stars as Raniere, who was found guilty of racketeering, sex trafficking and other crimes in June. Sara Fletcher, meanwhile, will play Mack and, as the trailer demonstrates, the resemblance is striking. Per Lifetime, the film will expose “the intricate seductive power of Allison and Keith and the mental and physical abuse India fell victim to.”

The film premieres on September 21 and arrives with a documentary in which Gretchen Carlson will interview Oxenberg and other individuals involved in the dismantling of the organization.

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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