Directed by Nicole L. Thompson, Lifetime’s ‘You’re Not Supposed to Be Here’ is a thriller film about couple Zoe and Kennedy, who are expecting their first child. When the couple takes a trip to a remote cabin, their life turns upside down when they counter the unwelcoming townsfolk. The thriller movie has all the ingredients of a realistic camping trip gone wrong story often found in the newspapers. Moreover, with relatable characters in painful circumstances and a theme of women empowerment, the movie forces viewers to question whether it is actually based on a true story or a fictional one.
The Inspiration Behind You’re Not Supposed to Be Here
‘You’re Not Supposed to Be Here’ is not based on a true story. Lauren Caster and Erica Lane penned the movie’s screenplay based on an original story from Caster. The project came to development at Lifetime through a pitchfest held by the network under its Broader Focus Initiative. Caster pitched her original idea at the pitchfest and was declared the winner, leading to her concept being developed into a feature film. According to Caster, the primary inspiration for the movie comes from her real-life experiences. The story follows a lesbian couple on a trip to a remote location while they are expecting their first child together.
Caster has stated that she devised the concept based on her own experiences, particularly from a similar incident where she took a trip with her partner. “It’s really wild, but the story comes from a few years ago when I went on a camping trip. We went to some land owned by the Bureau of Land Management, which is open to anyone. It’s beautiful and free, but some of the people in the towns nearby were not very welcoming,” Caster told Forbes during an interview. Based on the experience, Caster devised the idea for a story about a city couple and what happens to them when they visit a remote town and meet the unwelcoming locals. The same idea is reflected in the film’s title and basic premise.
Caster further revealed that she drew inspiration from her pregnancy while writing the story. She stated that she felt isolated and worried about several life issues during her pregnancy. Similarly, Caster also spoke about being brought up by a lesbian mother and used her upbringing to craft some aspects of the narrative. Caster weaves these elements into the story by presenting her feelings through the characters. Caster noted that she felt reflecting on her experiences in the story was necessary as it allows viewers to resonate with the real-life problems faced by the characters, allowing for a meaningful representation of LGBTQ+ individuals.
The film’s premise loosely plays with the “women in peril” trope commonly seen in thriller movies such as the 2019 slasher film ‘Black Christmas‘ and the horror film ‘The Lodge,’ among several others. However, Caster ensured that her story would have the theme of female empowerment, thereby subverting the trope. Ultimately, ‘You’re Not Supposed to Be Here’ is not directly based on a true story. It is a fictional story derived from the personal experiences of co-writer Lauren Caster, which are ingrained in the screenplay. However, the movie also aims to create a more meaningful representation of women. Hence, the relatable characters and the underlying empowerment theme allow the narrative to resonate emotionally with the viewers.