By Amy Mead
A Thru the Lens Production
Directed by Stephanie Hensley and Brian Jolliffe
Starring Frankie McKay and Linda Schrader
Dane Granger is a 25 year old lesbian who left her small Indiana hometown after graduating high school to escape the tragedy of her adolescence, and the demons it brought with it. Unfortunately, Dane is still plagued by those demons, which manifest themselves as a silent, faceless man that silently watches over her, tormenting her. Dane is also haunted by an unhealthy desire to be with the love of her life, the all american hometown sweetheart, Grace Harper.
After escaping her small hometown life, Dane becomes a well known actress but in spite of her fame, fortune and glory, she struggles with the memories of her past and the events that shattered her family when she was just a young girl. Dane's life was forever changed in an instant when her father not only commited suicide, but took her little brother with him. She has never been the same.
A few years later, Dane is forced to return home to attend a the funeral of a very close friend who was not only Dane's roommate, but Grace's sister, Matty. Dane of course runs into Grace and and is forced to face her past, and the faceless man who torments her, head on. Soon, Dane is spiraling out of control when she finds out Grace is soon to be married. Grace is, was, and always will be Dane's Kryptonite, her one and only weakness. Before long, Dane's descent into madness begins as she struggles to figure out who, and what, she really is.
Dane has many demons. So does Grace. And their demons do not play well with each other. Dane and Grace truly are a match made in hell. Grace could very be the end of Dane, as her desire slowly drives her into a careless existence.
Dane Granger is a heartbreaking tale of madness, turmoil, and heartbreak.
"Madness is the symptom, love is the disease"...
Shortly after reading Stephanie Hensley's book Dane Granger Reborn (which I absolutely loved) it was announced that a movie was in the works. I have been eagerly awaiting the films release since then. It's no secret that I have been a champion of this project, and as luck would have it, I was asked by Stephanie herself to give the first review of the finished product, which is truly an honor.
In most cases where I have read the book first, I am usually not particularly fond of the screen adaptations but with Dane Granger, the screenplay was written by Stephanie herself and as such, not much gets lost in translation. I was seriously blown away and FAR from disappointed with the finished product. And just like the book, I was in tears by the films end. That doesn't happen often.
While not an out and out horror film, Dane Granger definitely has it's horrific moments and the things that float around in Dane's head are truly frightening. Watching her wrestle her demons and fight to find some peace within herself is hard to watch at times. You want to hug and comfort her while simultaneously beating the shit out of her. Dane is a beautiful, tragic mess and that in itself is horrific.
The direction of Hensley and Jolliffe was nothing short of amazing and some of the shots are simply gorgeous. This film does not look like it's the first for either one of them. Their passion for it is clearly evident and they make a fabulous team. Their work is seriously impressive and I will definitely be looking forward to seeing more from both of them in the future. The only real issue with the film are some issues with the sound, but other than that, this film is truly a work of art.
Frankie McKay's performance as the titular character is nothing short of mind blowing. Frankie IS Dane, without question. And this comes from someone who was extremely skeptical about the casting choice. within the first five minutes I knew my initial thoughts were way off the mark. In all honesty, I don't think a better casting choice could have been made.
The Dane Granger indiegogo campaign recently ended and hopefully that's a sign that the film will be unleashed upon the masses very soon. I seriously cannot recommend it enough.
If you like indie cinema, drama and psychological thrills, this is definitely one you need to check out. I am already looking forward to getting my physical copy upon the films release and watching the beautiful craziness that is Dane Granger all over again.