Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – A Mother Knows Best (2017)

Director: Stephanie Hensley, Derek Justice

Writer: Erin Butusov, Stephanie Hensley, Chris Prather (Screenplay)

Starring: Allie Arkwright, Brezlin Ashely, Erin Butusov, Ilo Butusov, Tonya Conner, Sandra Cook

 

Plot: A horror anthology all based around mothers and their children.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Series of Mother Horror Anthologies

 

Story: A Mother Knows Best starts as our mother in this story is reading the stories to her own son, the stories are as followed.

Mommy’s Little Angel starts as Angel (Nixon) is dealing with sin from her own sexually desires from her overbearing religious mother from her own religious upbringing.

Mommas Boy starts with Cain (Ashley) and Abel (Glass) two teenage boys that are searching for a new man for their Momma but they do have a twisted motivation for their search.

A Mother’s Choice starts as we see a young couple first discover they are going to have a baby as the couple must ask the question, do they give up their planned future or their unborn child they would struggle to support leading to them both going different directions, with the next few years changing everything.

Mommy’s Promises starts as the single mother of a teenage daughter looks to date, breaking the promises with her daughter over and over leading to her going into supernatural methods to get her own revenge.

Mommy Said so starts as we meet our child Landen, who loves his Momma and lives with an abusive father Jake.

 

Thoughts on A Mother Knows Best

 

Characters/PerformanceThe characters involved in each story are all good, we see a mother and child in all dealing with different situations. This shows in the performances that are also all good throughout from all of the actors.

StoryThis is an anthology of horror stories; Mommas Boy does have a good twist to how the story goes. Mommy Said So deals with abusive parents and how a child deals with them. Mommy’s Little Angel deals with religious beliefs holding back the true feelings people can have when it comes to their desires. A Mother’s Choice deals with a very dark tone and is the story which I found to be the best. Mommy’s Promises enters into voodoo which always works for horror. When you look at anthologies you know you are going to get a series of short stories and the best way to judge them is could you see them becoming feature films and the answer to that is yes you could do. Saying this it would be fair to say certain stories do feel slightly too short compared to others.

HorrorThe horror side of the stories all go into different ideas, we won’t go into all of them but I will say each different story does offer something for all the horror fans.

SettingsThe settings bring us into the homes of all of the families that we follow, we see how the horror can come from home over the outside world.

Special EffectsThe special effects are all practical and only needed when needed.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good series of horror stories that all could be feature films that could be gripping.

 

Overall: One for the horror anthology fans.

Rating

 

 

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Dane Granger (2016)

daneDirector: Stephanie Hensley, Bryan Jolliffe

Writer: Stephanie Hensley (Screenplay)

Starring: Frankie McKay, Linda Schrader, James Liberty, JoAnna Lloyd, Brandon Saylor, Brittany Santiago

 

Plot: Dane Granger returns to her hometown for a funeral of a friend. While there she must face the demons of the past. There is madness, love, and loss as we journey with Dane to figure out what kind of person she truly is.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dark Romantic Thriller

 

Story: Dane Granger starts with the stylish old school shot opening sequence that fills in why Dane Granger (McKay) is as damaged as she is. We move forward to the grown up Dane dealing with the loss of a close friend Matty Harper who the whole town in looking to mourn. Dane has to face the sister of Matty, Grace (Schrader) the girl she has been dreaming of being with.

With Grace approaching her wedding day she keeps trying to lead Dane on, as Dane now is dealing with her own faceless man following her around whenever she does anything questionable and pushing Grace away. We follow Dane as she tries to make up what to make out of her life while battling her desires, demons and alcohol.

Dane Granger brings us into one woman’s destructive life and what causes it, what makes it better and what makes it worse. We watch how she comes to learn which decisions are the right one and discover how the people in her life see her. This follows the outsider feeling many people have in life giving us a chance to see how other people deal with it and just because a tragic event has happened in your life your friends will stand by you through this moment.

 

Actor Review

 

Frankie McKay: Dane Granger is our leading lady, she is full of demons due to a tragic event in her childhood. She sees the whole world against her as she drinks her problems away after her close friend commits suicide. These brings the girl that Dane has always desired back into her life Grace which puts Dane’s car crash of a life in a bigger spiral than before but getting through this could change her life for the better. Frankie is good in this leading role standing out from the rest of the cast with her image.

Linda Schrader: Grace Harper is the woman that has always had the power to control Dane, they have always been sexual tension between the two and when Grace finally comes onto Dane she causes the spiral that Dane goes. Linda is good in this role being the opposite to the Dane character.

Support Cast: Dane Granger has a supporting cast that is friends and flings for Dane, they each help to where the film goes with the final outcome of Dane’s story.

Director Review: Stephanie Hensley, Bryan JolliffeThe pair gives us a romantic thriller with very effective shots used to unfold the story.

 

Romance: Dane Granger shows us just how destructive relationships can be to both sides involved.

Settings: Dane Granger puts us into a small town America to show how one even can put a stigma over a certain person.
Suggestion
: Dane Granger is one that is worth watching if you are looking for a romantic drama thriller. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Frankie McKay is great in this debut role.

Worst Part: Certain scenes have difficult to hear sound but can be overlooked.

 

Believability: This could be like a real relationship.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $14,000

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Tagline: The emotions are real, everything else is questionable.

 

Overall: Strong relationship based film showing the deconstruction of the one woman involved.

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