Review: Stephanie (2017)


Stephanie (2017)

Directed by: Akiva Goldsman | 86 minutes | drama, fantasy | Actors: Shree Crooks, Frank Grillo, Anna Torv, Jonah Beres, Lasaundra Gibson, Samantha Smith, Al Whiting

Kids and horror movies do well. An evil infant in ‘Rosemary’s Baby’, Damien from ‘The Omen’ and the pack of evil kids in ‘The Children’: killer brood takes the spotlight! The latest addition to horror movies that cater to the little ones is ‘Stephanie’. However, behind this innocent name is a girl that you don’t want to be sitting on the couch at your house…

‘Stephanie’ revolves around the title character of the same name (played by Shree Crooks). This young girl lives alone in a large house. She talks to her stuffed turtle and only eats peanut butter (because it’s the only food the neglected child has). A supernatural entity is watching her and her parents at a distance. When Mom and Dad finally decide to hug Stephanie back in their arms, a lot of strange things happen…

‘Stephanie’ will never win an Oscar for originality or best picture. That’s not to say you’re dealing with a bad movie here. On the contrary! Director Akiva Goldsman has created an atmospheric thriller. The strength of this film lies in the brooding, mysterious atmosphere and the great acting of Crooks. She knows how to make the title character both creepy and empathetic. You also don’t see her acting and being a real child. The actress plays very natural and that makes this film very enjoyable. It’s always a gamble to work with children, but in this case the casting turns out really well.

The structure of this production is reminiscent of a book adaptation of a Stephen King story about a girl with telekinetic powers. This film does not offer any real surprises or new insights. The compact running time of 89 minutes (Hollywood bangers don’t need every film to last at least two hours. Shorter is also allowed!) also speaks in favor of this production. Nice snack for the genre fan.

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