Stevie (2008) – Review

Stevie is another version of a psychological horror film which features a malicious imaginary friend of a newly adopted young girl. Director Bryan Goeres, using every cliché in his disposal, tries to create a frightening and intense atmosphere and in a way he succeeds. However, he is not able to deliver a genuine outcome despite the surprising and quite sentimental ending.

Stevie tells off the story of a family, who goes through a lot of strange and violent situations after adopting Isabel, a sweet and beautiful 8-year-old, who became an orphan when her parents were murdered. Her stepmother, Claire (Catherine McCormack) and her husband Adrian (Jordi Mollà) try to give all their love to their new child since they have been through rough times when they lost their baby right after giving birth.

When Isabel moves into their house, she makes it clear that they are not living alone. In fact, there is another presence in the house that keeps watching them. The young girl calls this imaginary boy Stevie, but he is not friendly nor playful.

Stevie is full of clichés that make it indifferent and discourages the viewer from enjoying the film. There is a scared – and scarred – wife who senses the evil presence however her skeptical husband listens to her thoughts about it in great disbelief. Additionally, a scene with Claire in the bathroom in front of the mirror popping down pills is not missing from the film.

Children escaping into their imagination and describing spooky spirits lingering in their house is particularly popular in the horror genre. However, Stevie is lacking genuine haunting scenes and frankly the havoc that is supposed to be brought by the ghost is not quite intense and certainly not enough.

Claire’s difficult past and her rough memories of losing her child due to her exhausting career are pictured with flashbacks tailored into the film. Their new beginning in Spain, her husband’s home country, is marked by the adoption of Isabel.

McCormack tries really hard to look terrified and worried about the strange presence in her house. Unfortunately, her performance is not accompanied by relevant scenes, thus her fear is neither convincing nor gripping. The family’s three-storied house, Claire’s architectural product, is the setting of the supposed mayhem, but it’s modern and bright interior doesn’t help to create an eerie atmosphere.

Even though the action starts quite early in Stevie, the viewer might get the feeling that the pace is extremely slow, as nothing in particular happens to grasp the interest. As the film progresses and reaches towards the end, there is nothing concrete to keep the viewer wondering and looking forward to figuring out the truth.

However, there is a surprising twist in the end that could leave the viewer with a sympathizing “aww”! This is probably not the ideal reaction for a psychological thriller, but I don’t think there is another way to go.

Unfortunately, Stevie is not an enthralling film nor a suitable time filler. Thus, it can’t fall into the go-see category.

6 Responses to “Stevie (2008) – Review”
  1. Thanks to Shadow of the Vampire I like Catherine McCormack, but can’t say I’ll be seeing this now.
    Ahh well, cheers for seeing it so I don’t have to!


  2. thycriticman says:

    Hey, your back! Holy cow, that trailer was atrocious haha. Specifically when they said “Introducing…”, and started naming the cast. Skeptical husband……that does not look fun at all. I am so sick of skeptical people in ghost movies. I think I already have guessed what the twist was, and what the Goodbye actually means. Avoiding this!

    If you want a good suspenseful horror film, watch “Julia’s Eyes”. Not sure when I will get around to reviewing it, but it is certainly getting a high-score (4/5). You mentioning Spain in your review reminded me, since it is a Spanish film that I am talking about.


    • maria kriva says:

      Hey, yes I’m back! Good to hear from you 🙂
      Ah it was not a good choice I’m afraid! Skeptical people, little children who talk to ghosts, you know how it goes! The Goodbye part was really dramatic…haha…I actually forgot it was a ghost movie, and felt really bad for the poor ghost! That’s never a good thing!

      Is it that good? Wow! I always had it in mind, so I’ll definitely be watching it soon! I miss watching a good suspenseful horror movie!


  3. thycriticman says:

    Sounds like an awful thing:)

    It really is that good. I’d give it higher if it wasn’t for a plot or whole two that kind of spoiled some of the fun. Overall though, it is a brilliant suspense piece. For the first bit, you do not even know if it is a ghost, demon, people with a goal, serial killer, or monster targeting the protagonists, which makes it even more interesting. And when you do find out, it is not disappointing. Has some very memorable scenes! The director pays homage to Psycho, among other films, which is also a nice touch.


    • maria kriva says:

      That sounds really interesting! I love it when horror films make you wonder about the final outcome and you don’t know who the actual “bad guy” is. Wow, since you stated in public that it is a brilliant suspense piece, I’ll take your word for it and make it my next choice! 😉


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