Bethany features stellar acting and a story much darker than expected. Watch it if you enjoy mind games wrapped up in horror.

Bethany 2017 poster - horror movie starring Shannen Doherty, Tom Green, Zack Ward, Stefanie EstesWhen Bethany first began, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I didn’t have particularly high hopes and the beginning has a distinctively low-budget feel. Good thing is, I actually love low-budget and indie movies.

Not that I love them because they’re indie or low-budget, but simply because I know what will either make or break the movie. When you don’t have a huge budget, it won’t be used on crazy (and impressive) effect, but rather finding the right cast and crew to tell a good story.

And speaking of the story, indie movies do tend to take stories a bit further. Where most movies may scratch the surface of a story, these productions get the chance to go deeper. The downside to a lower budget is the fact that the details in both filming and graphics can be a bit off.

To me, the poster for Bethany really doesn’t do the movie justice. In fact, I probably would’ve skipped the movie if I saw this image representing it. I’m not here to review the artwork, but I wanted to mention it in case you [the person reading this] felt the same way. You can go ahead and watch Bethany. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

A dark past unfolds in Bethany

Everything is a bit confusing at first, but it will all make sense. And really, it’s just part of getting into the story. Layer upon layer of the protagonist’s past is slowly being revealed. Both to us, the audience, and to Claire herself.

The star of Bethany is portrayed by Stefanie Estes, who does a really great job. She has to be a bit all over the place at first. Later on, she’s a powerhouse of determination as she gets in touch with the secrets of her own past. The way there, however, is pretty crazy and Stefanie Estes really is amazing and letting us experience it all.

Bethany 2017 horror movie review - Stefanie Estes

Fortunately, Stefanie Estes has a lot of productions coming out in the future. Her IMDb profile is full of projects listed as “completed” and “post-production” along with even more in the making. While Bethany isn’t the most amazing movie, it does have same great moments. And Stefanie Estes is a part of most.

Another person, who really pulls off her job in the movie, is Shannen Doherty (Charmed). We get to know her character in flashbacks since she portrays Claire’s (Stefanie Estes) mother. Let’s just say she isn’t exactly a warm and loving kind of parent. Shannen Doherty manages to create a complete character and we get to understand her motives. However messed up they might be!

Tom Green is another familiar face in the movie. Or actually, I almost couldn’t recognize him at first, but that just means he was doing a good job.

A good story at the core

Bethany is first and foremost an interesting story, which was written by director of the movie, James Cullen Bressack, and actor Zack Ward. In the movie itself, Zack Ward (Don’t Blink) also portrays the boyfriend of our lead character.

Usually, Zack Ward stands out as one of the most memorable actors, when in a movie, but not this time around. That’s not to say he wasn’t good, but simply that the focus remained more on the character of Claire, which suited the movie perfectly.

James Cullen Bressack has already directed quite a few horror movies. I can’t say I’ve seen many of them but after watching Bethany, I would be willing to give them a chance. This one certainly surprised me by being much deeper (and more interesting) than I ever would’ve expected.

Bethany will be out in limited theatrical release and available On Demand from April 7, 2017.


Director: James Cullen Bressack
Writer: James Cullen Bressack, Zack Ward
Cast: Stefanie Estes, Zack Ward, Shannen Doherty, Tom Green, Keith Jardine, Leon Russom


Claire and her husband find themselves moving back into Claire’s childhood home only to have the abusive and traumatic memories of her mother come back to haunt her. As her husband starts to get more work, Claire finds herself mixed up in a fog of past and present with a mysterious figure haunting her memories. What is this small figure that is trying to reach out to her, and what does it want?

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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