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Iris Janaway

The psychotic Iris Janaway, aka Beth Baronne

Iris Janaway, aka Beth Baronne (Aria Pullman), is the main villainess from the 2018 Lifetime film, Deadly Inn (originally titled, Home Invaders; airdate January 19, 2018).

Backstory

Iris Janaway once lived in an old Victorian house with her husband and her daughter, Sophia; however, her marriage was quite strained due to Iris being a recluse and never making friends. Worse yet, her husband was always at work, leaving her with Sophia. Five years prior to the film's events, Iris and her husband were in a heated argument, with Iris refusing to take her medication before finally acquiescing. Sophia was standing atop the stairs, and while Iris was opening the pill bottle, she accidentally knocked over Sophia and sent her down the stairs and to her death. 

Following Sophia's death, Iris was committed to a mental institution, as she was driven insane due to the events. In the years she spent there, she still believed that Sophia was alive, and even talked to her.

Events

In the film's events, Iris escaped and went to her old home, only to see that it was purchased by Robyn Flynn and turned into a bed-and-breakfast, which she ran while residing in the home with her adopted daughter, Ava. Iris later met Robyn and Ava and became a guest at the home, doing so under the name Beth Barrone. Once there, she began her plan to reclaim what she believed was her house and her family, seeing Ava as a replacement for her deceased daughter--even calling Ava "Sophia" on several occasions. She antagonized a pair of guests--Heather Russell and her husband, Clint--doing so by flirting with Clint and claming that he came on to her. The couple left in anger, and later on, Iris killed Clint by shoving him in front of a moving car after a verbal confrontation.

Iris' next victim was Erica Berman, a nurse at the institution, targeting her after she caught Iris staring at her and Robyn. The twisted villainess shoved Erica down a flight of stairs, and then made it appear that she slipped and fell. She later found Robyn's will and changed it to name herself as the beneficiary of the house and as Ava's guardian in the event of Robyn's death, and she later murdered an author who was writing a piece on mothers who kill their children. Iris used a screwdriver from Wayne "Drew" Aldrew's toolbox, doing so to frame Drew for the murder after learning about his criminal past. 

After Drew was arrested, Robyn noticed the change in her will and finally learned that the woman known as Beth was actually Iris Janaway. In the film's climax, Iris went after both Robyn and Ava (the latter Iris continued to call "Sophia"). Wielding a knife, Iris planned to kill Robyn, and stabbed Drew's shoulder when he attempted to save both mother and daughter. During her pursuit, Iris again saw Sophia in her mind, and as she did so, she fell down the stairs, breaking her neck and leaving her immobile. Iris was carried away on a stretcher, and at the film's end, she was back in the institution; shouting for the nurse after again seeing Sophia.

Trivia

  • Iris Janaway bears some similarity to another Lifetime villainess:  Kathleen Strickland from 2016's The Wrong House. Both women were obsessed with regaining their former homes, and they killed those they believed were an obstacle; including attempting to kill the home's new owners. A difference was that Iris had an added incentive in her plan:  attempting the fill the void left by a deceased child.
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