When you hear the term “Lifetime Movie”, you pretty much know what to expect going in. The network has cultivated a reputation for delivering a steady stream of original films that range from the sickeningly cheesy to the so bad they’re actually kind of enjoyable, while there’s also been a fair share of turkeys.
Given the relentless churn of content, the vast majority of the Lifetime back catalogue hasn’t been either enjoyed or endured by anyone outside of the channel’s hardcore fanbase. However, 2015’s Cleveland Abduction has been making a surprising splash on Netflix this weekend, after entering the platform’s global most-watched list.
Not only that, but the made-for-TV dramatization of a harrowing true story has even managed to ascend as high as fourth place on the Australian charts, as per FlixPatrol. Based on the memoir Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed by Michelle Knight, Cleveland Abduction recounts her harrowing experience at the hands of kidnapper Ariel Castro.
Orange is the New Black‘s Taryn Manning and Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul‘s Raymond Cruz play the two main roles, with support coming from Katie Sarife, Samantha Droke, Pam Grier, and Joe Morton. As you may have inferred from the title, Cleveland Abduction recounts the horrific experience endured by Knight, who was taken by Castro and kept trapped in his home for 11 years alongside two other women.
Director Alex Kalymnios and writer Stephen Tolkin handle the sensitive subject matter with about as much grace as you’d expect from a Lifetime original, even if Netflix subscribers have been rushing to check it out in their numbers.