The Man in the Guesthouse: Is the Lifetime Movie Based on True Events?

The John Murlowski directorial, Lifetime’s ‘The Man in the Guesthouse,’ is a mystery thriller film that centers upon a young and loving couple — Brandon and Ashley Burke — who have a spare garage that they don’t really put to use. So, in order to get an additional source of income, they convert the garage into a living space and put it up for rent. When they find a renter named Dan Hansen for their converted garage, they do not hesitate to lend the space to him.

But sooner rather than later, they realize that their ideal tenant is not who they think he is as it doesn’t take long for Dan to make the couple’s life a living hell. Driven by the compelling performances from a group of talented actors, including Kristen Alderson, Ignacyo Matynia, Allen Williamson, and Ren Ashton, the suspenseful movie touches upon various realistic themes and elements, such as deceitful people, raising important questions about the nature of the story — is it a true tale or fictional?

The Man in the Guesthouse is Not Rooted in Reality

No, ‘The Man in the Guesthouse’ is not based on a true story. With years of experience in the industry, working on films and television shows like ‘Nightmare PTA Moms,’ ‘Escaping Dad,’ ‘True Cats,’ ‘Animal Trax,’ and ‘Murphy Brown,’ Adam Balsam is the one responsible for coming up with the enthralling and gripping screenplay for the Lifetime production. Apart from his experience, his creative mind and excellent penmanship also came in handy.

Through the years, there have been real-life cases where the tenants have resorted to violence against their landlords, which is exactly what the driving theme of the plot is. For instance, in November 2023, it was alleged that a tenant was responsible for the disappearance and possible murder of Thurston County couple — Karen Koep and Davido. The tenant was believed to be upset about the fact that he was about to get evicted. Translating such real-life cases to the screen, the Lifetime film is bound to make one wonder about the authenticity of the screenplay.

Moreover, another prominent reason why you might find the themes and elements in ‘The Man in the Guesthouse’ familiar is that such subject matters have been explored in several other productions; one of them being ‘The Killer in the Guest House.’ Written and helmed by
Tony Dean Smith, the thriller film follows a fashion photographer named Gina Larson who lends her house to a charming man named Mark James when she faces some financial issues. However, turns out the charming man is a deadly con man who makes Gina fight for her survival.

The 2020 movie is led by the impressive performances from Chelsea Hobbs and Marcus Rosner, who are supported by other actors, including Matthew Kevin Anderson, Corina Bizim, Mark Humphrey, Sangeeta Wylie, and Natalie Gibson. Given so many similarities in the storylines and character traits, one is likely to find the two films somewhat parallel. So, all in all, we can conclude that ‘The Man in the Guesthouse’ might possess a few realistic elements, but the fact remains that it is a work of fiction.

Read More: Lifetime’s The Man in the Guesthouse: Filming Locations and Cast Details