‘Cut Color Murder’ is the new Hallmark crime mystery thriller directed by Stacy N Harding. Written by Jason Filardi and Walt Becker, the script follows the investigation of a beauty pageant creator. A hairdresser teams up with a detective to find the culprit. While Julie Gonzalo stars as the hairdresser Ali Reed, Ryan McPartlin plays detective Kyle Crawford, who just recently started working in their picturesque town. Besides them, the film also stars Eva Tamargo, Grace Beedie, Rebecca Staab, Lynda Boyd, Brad Harder, Nathan Witte, Fred Henderson, Kehli O’Byrne, Princess Davis, Mike Dopud, and April Telek, among others. Spoilers ahead.
Cut Color Murder (2023) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:
What is ‘Cut Color Murder’ about?
‘Cut Color Murder’ follows a murder mystery revolving around the death of someone associated with the coveted pageant competition. It happens in a small town called Golden Peak. In this town, Ali (Julie Gonzalo) owns and operates Monarch Salon and lives with her sister, Chelsea (Grace Beedie), and her mother, Carol (Eva Tamargo). Chelsea is a hard-working college student who pays for her own tuition. That’s why she works at Ali’s salon and gets some cash to cover her expenses. The town hosts an annual Miss Golden Peak Beauty Pageant. Ali herself is a past winner, but Chelsea does not plan to participate in it. The event coincides with some of the busiest weeks at the salon.
Who is Mitzi Stewart?
Mitzi Stewart (Rebecca Staab), who has organized the pageant for over twenty years, is considered a big deal in this fraternity. Her words mean a lot to the aspirants and their mothers alike. She is not a people-pleaser and bluntly shares her honest opinions, which does not go well with everyone. One day, she happens to visit Ali’s salon and sees two mothers fighting about their daughters being more worthy of the crown. Instead, Mitzi considers Chelsea as someone who deserves it. Even if Chelsea wasn’t interested in the slightest, Mitzi motivated her to pursue this goal. Meanwhile, Sterling Addison (Brendon Zub), who is dating Ali, arrives there for a haircut. Darren Booth soon arrives there, over the moon about his new job as the weatherman for a local news channel.
Why does Chelsea not want to participate in the pageant?
While talking about the beauty pageant, Chelsea says she finds it too antiquated. That’s why she does not see herself being a part of it. But others motivate her enough that she finally agrees to participate. Detective Fred Wright (Fred Henderson) introduces Kyle Crawford (Ryan McPartlin), who recently moved from Columbus to work alongside Fred. Kyle finds it absurd that Fred seeks Ali’s help in their recent case, even if she is just a hairdresser. But Fred has a long history of working with Ali, who understands people’s behavior and has an insider look into their lives since most of them pass by her business.
Who is found dead on the day of the pageant?
On the day of the pageant, Mitzi has an argument with Stan Evans (Mike Dopud) about his poor handling of the event. Later, she criticizes Chelsea’s embarrassing walk and then disqualifies Lisa for having a lower GPA than what is required to participate in the pageant. So, it is fair to say that the event is met with many clashes. Just when another one happens between Stan and Darren, everyone hears a scream. Ali rushes there to find out that Mitzi is dead. So, Kyle and Fred start interrogating everyone related to the pageant in one or the other way. During his research, he starts noticing things that bring up many suspects.
How does Ali respond to Mitzi’s sudden death?
Due to his usual habit, Fred shares some details about the investigation with Ali. Kyle does not appreciate the information leaking out. But Fred assures that Ali won’t cause any harm to their case. On the other hand, this murder brings back some painful memories of her late husband, Dan, who was murdered while on police duty over two years before.
Anyhow, during her date with Sterling, he claims Darren is considered the most possible suspect. In the middle of their conversation, she gets a call from Kyle. Turns out, Chelsea was brought to the station since her fingerprints were found on the murder weapon. Mitzi clarifies how it is Chelsea’s job to clean the scissors from the salon. She lashes out at Fred and brings her sister back home. Despite this hiccup, Chelsea still wants to participate in the contest.
What does Ali learn about the investigation?
Ali learns about Arnold’s dissatisfaction with Mitzi’s mode of conduct. He had catered for her event for years. But he notes that Mitzi recently threatened him with a pay cut. He needed the pageant event to get through the year. Later, in her salon, she acquires the names of possible suspects in their investigation, which includes Stan. She requests to get the surveillance video to clear her sister’s name. Kyle questions Stan what he was doing around the time of Mitzi’s murder. Stan answers that he was walking with his rabbit outside the venue. Darren had earlier said that, at the time of the murder, he had to get to the car to get his throat spray.
While speaking with Stan, Ali gets his hair to match with the DNA samples at the scene of the murder. She hands it over to Fred. Once he leaves his cabin, she gets hold of the security footage and steals it to her drive. Back home, she checks the video with Chelsea and Carol. It helps her cross off Chelsea as a suspect. But she sees Sterling walk out of the club, a bit flustered. So, she questions him why he came to meet Mitzi. He says he tried to persuade Mitzi to do something to save his job. Eventually, Kyle arrives there to interrogate Sterling, who immediately asks for a lawyer.
What was the beef between Olivia and Sara?
Ali keeps up with her investigation and speaks with Olivia and Sara. Olivia thinks Sara got her daughter Liza out of the race since she was the favorite to win the pageant. Sara notes that Mitzi pits her and Olivia against each other. But she agrees. She told Mitzi about Liza’s low GPA. ‘All is fair in love, war, and pageant,’ is her reasoning. Ali meets Darren to know whether he knows Sharon Helton or Andrew Rockwell. He recalls they were a couple who worked for the pageant since two pay stubs by their names were present in Mitzi’s purse. He says they were hired only for the event. Meanwhile, she distances herself from Sterling because of the rising suspicions about him.
Cut Color Murder (2023) Movie Ending Explained:
Who wins the Miss Golden Peak pageant?
Ali and Kyle discuss theories on who might be behind Mitzi’s death. He suspects Stan is behind it, who reportedly had a secret affair with Mitzi. Stan wanted to make it public, but Mitzi ended their relationship the moment he made this request. Meanwhile, Chelsea wins the Miss Golden Peak pageant just like her older sister did years ago. Later that evening, Ali secretly enters Mitzi’s office to check for some evidence. Someone shoots her from behind when she is about to enter her car. Carol gets angry at her for risking her life like this. Unfortunately, Ali does not get a good look at the shooter, but Kyle and Fred plan to find the culprit.
Who was behind Mitzi’s death during the pageant?
Turns out, the hair found on Mitzi was rabbit hair. So it is considered as a match with Stan’s rabbit. Meanwhile, Ali confronts Darren for signing checks on Mitzi’s behalf to Sharon and Andrew. Darren finally confesses that Mitzi threatened to make him lose his new job, which is why he made a wrong choice. But he confirms that he did not kill Mitzi. On the other hand, Ali starts feeling that she has seen Kyle somewhere. That conversation eventually leads her to speak about the person convicted for her husband’s death. She believes someone else killed Dan.
Meanwhile, Detective Ken finds out the gun that shot Ali belonged to Sterling. Later that night, Stan is brought into the station to speak about the murders. Kyle thinks just pressuring the man would get him the ultimate truth. It makes us doubt how he even got his badge in the first place. Anyhow, Fred also thinks Stan killed Mitzi. But Ali again looks at the security footage to conclude that Stan cannot have killed Mitzi. While on her way to meet Kyle, she gets an anonymous text message where the person invites her to a particular place. Ali reaches there to get attacked and put to sleep.
Turns out, this was Olivia, who was deeply hurt that Mitzi disqualified her daughter. She also set up Stan to get herself out. While she almost burns Ali to death, Kyle saves her. They run back to the pageant where Chelsea is being crowned. She and Kyle run there to arrest Olivia. So, in the end, we learn that Olivia was behind the death of Mitzi. Afterward, Ali goes to meet Dan at the burial ground. She finally decides to let go of his thoughts. But, right after, she stumbles upon a couple of photos that include one with Kyle in it. Does that mean Kyle was behind Dan’s death? Who knows!