Review: ‘The Honor List’ highlights female high school relationships; the good, the bad, and the embarrassing.

High school relationships, especially among girls, can turn on a dime. Emotions are in high gear which means even small miscommunications can take down friendships. In the new film The Honor List, we discover that what tears us apart can bring us back together.

The summer before high school, Piper, Sophie, Isabella, and Honor are inseparable; by senior year, they barely speak. When tragedy strikes before graduation, the former best friends reluctantly put their differences aside and reunite to complete a forgotten bucket list. THE HONOR LIST explores the complexities of friendships, family, love, loss, and high school.

High school, in general, is no cake walk, but this film delves into the cliche pitfalls of popularity in creative ways. The characters are flawed, as they should be. Each of the four main characters with their own personality and ideas. But it’s in those differences that allow the script to shine. Some of the most enduring relationships I still have from high school are with people with whom I share interests but we could not be more different from one another in most aspects almost 20 years later. True friendship happens over small moments that shape who we become. The Honor List will do well with a Freeform demographic. It’s a bit bold and very honest if not slightly saccharin at times. It would be something I would recommend Moms watch with their kids. While the entire cast has wonderful talent and chemistry, the biggest treat has to be Sasha Pieterse. In her first role since the finale of Pretty Little Liars, Pieterse gives a riveting performance as a young woman surrounded by home turmoil. She has a sharp wit, an edgy artist’s mindset, who is struggling with incidents of body shaming. The role is a complete departure from her previous work. I, for one, am seriously looking forward to more from her.

The Honor List is available digitally and On Demand now. Check out the trailer below:

The Honor List stars lifestyle, beauty vlogger and social media influencer Meghan Rienks (“Freakish”), Karrueche Tran(“Claws”), Arden Cho (“Teen Wolf”) and Sasha Pieterse, who is starring in her first lead role since the hit teen drama “Pretty Little Liars” ended. Directed by Elissa Down, written by Marilyn Fu from a story by Fu and Meghan Rienks, Lionsgate’s Studio L released the film digitally on May 11th. It was produced by Liz Destro, Zoe, Cisely and Mariel Saldana’s Cinestar Pictures, along with PopSugar Films. Over 60% of the crew were women; it is truly a film made by women for women.


Review: ‘VIRGINIA MINNESOTA’ is a quirky and heartfelt road movie.

 Daniel Stine’s feature film debut, Virginia Minnesota, received its world premiere on March 2nd at the Cinequest Film Festival and stars a primarily female cast led by Aurora Perrineau and Rachel Hendrix.

Two young women, torn apart by a childhood tragedy, unexpectedly reunite and embark on an illuminating 24-hour journey, where they unlock memories of long forgotten innocence and what it means to truly believe.

This unexpected indie takes your heart by surprise within minutes. It’s part folklore, part road movie, and all charm. When four girls are called together to hear the reading of the will of their former headmistress, sparks fly and memories burn with truth and misunderstanding. I was not expecting this story to turn into a road movie at all, although with a character that is a suitcase with a personality (you’ll just have to watch to understand what I mean) I guess I should have predicted it in hindsight. While a small piece of the plot does revolve around a fiancé, the dialogue definitely passes The Bechdel Test with flying colors. Aurora Perrineau and Rachel Hendrix have a chemistry that is fun and comfortable.They challenge one another at every turn making Virginia Minnesota just as delightful as it is insightful. Guilt, repressed feelings and some seriously quirky encounters create a truly lovely and endlessly engrossing film.

VIRGINIA MINNESOTA – Trailer from Daniel Stine on Vimeo.

Virginia Minnesota premiered at the 2018 Cinequest Film Festival on March 2nd at 9:30 PM.

Virginia Minnesota was recently awarded the Global Grand Jury award for Best Hollywood Film at the Hollywood Film Festival (HFF), with Aurora Perrineau and Rachel Hendrix receiving special mention as Exceptional Emerging Artists. The film is produced by Rushaway Pictures, with cinematography by Pedro Ciampolini and a score by Gary Dworetsky.

Review: ‘The Blackcoat’s Daughter’ is wicked twisted and completely unsettling.

 The Blackcoat’s Daughter


A deeply atmospheric and terrifying new horror film, The Blackcoat’s Daughter centers on Kat (Kiernan Shipka) and Rose (Lucy Boynton), two girls who are left alone at their prep school Bramford over winter break when their parents mysteriously fail to pick them up. While the girls experience increasingly strange and creepy occurrences at the isolated school, we cross cut to another story—that of Joan (Emma Roberts), a troubled young woman on the road, who, for unknown reasons, is determined to get to Bramford as fast as she can. As Joan gets closer to the school, Kat becomes plagued by progressively intense and horrifying visions, with Rose doing her best to help her new friend as she slips further and further into the grasp of an unseen evil force. The movie suspensfully builds to the moment when the two stories will finally intersect, setting the stage for a shocking and unforgettable climax.

Emma Roberts plays a mysterious young woman who is clearly troubled. It’s an unglamorous role but suits her well. She is, as ever, riveting on screen. Having watched Kiernan Shipka literally grow up on Mad Men, we find her in a role that’s totally unexpected and truly scary. The progression of her character is unhinged. Fun fact: Shipka has a hauntingly gorgeous singing voice. The script’s dynamic is engrossing and the concept of two stories colliding keep you consistently alert. The uncomfortable moments and there are many, will keep you on the edge of your seat long enough to get to the weird (in a good way) ending.  The location screams typical New England boarding school. The winter weather adding to the gloom and darkness of the impending doom. The Blackcoat’s Daughter will stick with you in a disturbing way long after the credit roll. In Select Theaters and On Demand March 31st, 2017

Opening in NYC (Village East, Alamo Drafthouse Yonkers), LA (Sunset 5 West Hollywood) and additional cities…

Directed By:                         Osgood Perkins

Written By:                           Osgood Perkins

Produced By:                       Rob Paris, Adrienne Biddle, Bryan Bertino, Robert Menzies, Alphonse Ghossein

Starring:                                Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka, Lucy Boynton, Lauren Holly, James Remar

Release Date:                       Exclusively on DirecTV—February 16, 2017 / In Theaters and On Demand—March 31, 2017

Running Time:                     95 minutes

Rating:                                 R for brutal bloody violence and brief strong language