Filmed in Valencia, Calif., by the Thomas Carter Co. and Warner Bros. TV. Executive producer, Thomas Carter; co-executive producer, Ian Sander; co-producer, Dennis Murphy; director, Eric Laneuville; writer, Carol Monpere; It’s inspired by a true story, or so it advises before the title, but writer Carol Monpere gives “Someone She Knows” an old-fashioned melodramatic turn or two to build the work into a suspenser. Holes abound, and the mysterious “Someone’ of the title’s all but spotlighted from the beginning, but energetic Markie Post enlivens her role to the suspenseful hilt.
Waitress Laurie (Post) lives with her second husband, long hauler Greg Philips (Jeff Nordling), in an Arizona mobile-home park that the drama admirableturns into a living community. Laurie has a 5-year-old daughter, Marilee (Sarah Freeman), by her first husband (who oddly doesn’t surface and is not even mentioned by name during the terrible days the vidpic covers).
The neighbors include Frank (Gerald McRaney) and his wife, and several other small families that make up the Philips’ circle. Everyone knows everyone, so it’s all the more astonishing when Marilee disappears.
The sheriff’s deputy handling the case, Lt. Kramer (Spencer Garrett), comes off as particularly odious as he starts drumming up Greg as a suspect. His associate, Lt. Emery (Harold Sylvester), gives some balance to the case, but Kramer has dug up dirt from Greg’s past, secrets that endanger the Philips’ marriage.
Marilee’s found, raped and dead. Laurie deduces that the guilty man must live in the park since Marilee would never have gone off with a stranger. Laurie’s job begins in earnest as she starts asking questions, assembles all known evidence, turns her suspicion on various men and alienates neighbors with her frenzied search.
The camera pans over possible suspects, particularly trooper Frank, and Laurie’s frantic efforts to pin him down become the nut of the telepic. Director Eric Laneuville isn’t subtle, but he does get an energetic, even electric, perf out of Post. The actress works the role for all its considerable worth.
Nordling’s Greg, inexplicably fading in and out of the action, is considerate and loving; Nordling’s good leading-man material. McRaney plays the suspect with surprising dignity, despite how flatly the role’s written. Shawn Modrell does a good job as his wife, and Kathleen Lloyd and Alma Beltran as other ladies in the park are admirably real. Garrett’s acceptably disagreeable, and Sylvester as the good cop is comforting.
Vidpic, filmed in Valencia, north of L.A., hits the target with its appearance thanks to the camerawork of Paul Elliott and production designer Mayling Cheng’s representation of a small community outside an Arizona burg. Wendy Blackstone has written a helpful score.