Interesting, unpredictable horror
- Stephanie review by NP
Home alone, Stephanie (Shree Crooks) and her friend Francis goes about the business of looking after herself. Her food preparation, teeth cleaning and story-reading exploits are directed in such a way (by Akiva Goldsman) that the audience is constantly on edge concerning her safety. Stephanie is about ten years old and it becomes obvious her parents are not away on a night out: she is alone. Apart from Francis, who is a toy dinosaur. Shree is charming company, which is more than can be said for the mysterious entity that occupies her huge house.
Moody and brooding, these early moments are handled so deftly that, as a seasoned horror film fan, I was worried about something horrible happening to Stephanie. If something horrible happened to Francis, I’d be mortified.
And then her parents return home.
The bursts of television news that punctuate the action have a grim relevance as I write this. Three years after this film was made, we endure our own worldwide pandemic – and it’s a pandemic that seems to be keeping the outside world far from Stephanie and her family and their plight – but what has caused it? The specifics of all of these things are kept carefully under wraps until the very end. It’s well worth sticking around for.
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