Stephanie (2017) Movie Review

Director: Akiva Golsman

Writer: Ben Collins, Luke Piotrowski (Screenplay)

Starring: Shree Crooks, Frank Grillo, Anna Torv, Jonah Beres, LaSaundra Gibson, Samantha Smith

Plot: After a mysterious global crisis, a young girl is left alone to hide from a malevolent power that stalks her home. Her parents eventually return and the struggle begins to save their daughter.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Strong Until the End

Story: Stephanie starts as we meet a young girl Stephanie (Crooks) living alone with her teddy bear Francis, she cooks, prepares meals for a family, but is alone, only she has something make noise around the house, haunting her from the shadows.

Stephanie does get a surprise visit from her parents (Grillo) and (Torv) who she thought had left her, only there is something different about them, something that makes her feel uneasy, despite finally having someone to talk too and protect her from the monster.

Thoughts on Stephanie

Characters – Stephanie is a young girl that seems to be all alone, her parents have vanished, her brother has died, she only has her teddy bear to keep her company, which sees her needing to feed herself and make friends with the local wildlife, despite being in fear of something that lurks in the shadows away from her, waiting for her. Mum and Dad do return, though something is different about them, as they look to protect her from a monster that is around, they bring a smile to Stephanie’s face, one that has been missing for so long.

PerformancesShree Crooks in the leading role is excellent, she brings the innocence to the character, which is needed to show how helpless she is during the film, while Frank Grillo and Anna Torv doing well in their roles in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a young girl that is left alone during an incident, she is trying to keep her life together, feeding not going crazy and living in fear, until her parents return, with a new revelations that will change the life of the young girl. This is a story that works on the idea of mis-direction by taking us one way, only tot turn everything on its head, which is interesting to see, as we are left surprised with what happens and in many case, shocked because you won’t see it coming.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in this film comes from seeing first what Stephanie is going through, with her haunting and then the reveal of the monster, with the mystery playing into a lot of why Stephanie is alone and what the monster is.

SettingsThe film is set in one location, a house in the middle of a orchid that has seen Stephanie left alone, waiting for her parents to return.

Special EffectsThe effects are the weakest part of the film, as they show us how CGI certain parts of the film are.

Scene of the Movie – The truth about the monster.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It does leave too many questions.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting horror that gets about 90% right, only it seems to fall apart with the conclusion, which is more of a non-finish.

Overall: Lacks the Ending.

ABC Film Challenge – Catch Up 2020 – Q – Fantasy Island (2020) Movie Review

This is going under Q because of Maggie Q.

Director: Jeff Wadlow

Writer: Jillian Jacobs, Christopher Roach, Jeff Wadlow (Screenplay)

Starring: Maggie Q, Lucy Hale, Portia Doubleday, Michael Pena, Michael Rooker, Kim Coates, Charlotte McKinney

Plot: A horror adaptation of the popular ’70s TV show about a magical island resort.

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Soap Opera Horror

Story: Fantasy Island starts as five strangers, Gwen (Q), Melanie (Hale), Patrick (Stowell), Brax (Yang) and JD (Hansen) travel to Fantasy island to be part of the latest resort hosted by Mr Roarke (Pena). Gwen wants a chance to have another chance with man she could have lived her whole life with, Melanie wants revenge on a high school bully, Patrick wants to have some military action, while Brax and JD just want it all.

The one rule on Fantasy Island is that you complete the fantasy until the end, only when the fantasies become too realistic, the people want to know the truth about the island in hopes of trying to escape alive.

Thoughts on Fantasy Island

Characters – Mr Roarke is the man that runs the fantasies, he does it for his own reasons and will always be calm when explaining the rules to the guests, he is always in control with his staff willing to do anything for him. Gwen is one of the guests, her fantasy is to change a moment in her life, with that moment helping her add together the pieces to what is really going on the island, she is the most down to Earth of the guests. Melanie was bullied through high school, now she has become a shallow person over compensating for her broken person, she gets a chance to get revenge on the school bully, only she needs to learn the real world isn’t about high school anymore. Patrick wants to follow in his father’s footsteps in the military wanting to become a solider and see some action.

PerformancesMichael Pena and Maggie Q are the highlights of this movie, they keep their characters in the path needed, while partly down to writing maybe down to acting Lucy Hale and Austin Stowell make the cast very mixed direction for their characters.

StoryThe story here follows five people that win a competition to get the fantasy they desire only they don’t want to go through with it and must fight to survive what the island truly has planned for them. This story does seem like it should be easy enough, only it ends up become like a soap opera with a twist coming in nearly every single line in the film, even if the grander scale of everything is meant to make sense by the end. It can be enjoyed a lot more drunk because it is right out there with how everything unfolds.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy in this film feels more accidently rather than planned in the film, with the horror not coming through strong enough, with nothing be scary in anyway through the film.

SettingsThe island itself looks beautiful, having everything you would want to have a good time, relax, only for it to become way to big for what the visual side of the film.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are basic enough, it does work for the cheesy side, only it isn’t as strong as it could be.

Scene of the Movie – Full soap opera ending.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too many twists.

Final Thoughts This is a horror film that ends up becoming more of a soap opera rather than horror film but feels like a true drunk movie night.

Overall: Drunk Late Night Horror.