Wednesday, March 25, 2020

DVD Review - V.C. Andrews' Casteel Family

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.
Available on AMAZON
Now available to on DVD from Lionsgate Home Entertainment is V.C. Andrew's Casteel Family 5-Movie Series, which aired on Lifetime last year. The film series is based on V.C. Andrew's original novels, which were later finished by the ghostwriter Andrew Neiderman. There are are no special features or bonus extras.

Heaven stars Annalise Basso as Heaven Leigh Casteel, a teenager living poverty in the 1960s with her stepmother, half-siblings, and their drunken, abusive father, Luke, who has never gotten over the death of Heaven's mother - Leigh. Heaven looks just like her mother, which is why her father never wants to be around her. After their stepmother finally had had enough and left them, Luke decides to sell his children for $500 each. Heaven is sold to Kitty Dennison and her much younger husband, Cal. Kitty is a control freak and makes Heaven's new life a living hell.

Dark Angel takes place shortly after ending events in Heaven, where Heaven is sent to live with her maternal grandmother, Jillian Tatterton (played by Kelly Rutherford), and step-grandfather, Tony (played by Jason Priestley), at Farthinggale Manor. Let's just say Heaven's life only gets worse. Jillian is a drunk and isn't too happy with Heaven living under her roof. Tony had a thing for Heaven's mother, so he's a little possessive. Then there's the weird relationship between Tony's younger brother, Troy, and Heaven.

Fallen Hearts centers on an adult Heaven who has to confront her past to have any type of future with her childhood sweetheart, Logan.

Gates of Paradise centers around Heaven's daughter Annie, who becomes crippled after being in a car accident that also killed her parents. Her great-grandfather, Tony, brings her to Farthinggale Manor to help her recover from the trauma.

Web of Dreams is a prequel about Heaven's mother Leigh, where we learn why she left Farthinggale Manor and married Luke.

Final Thoughts

I do appreciate that the Casteel book series was finally adopted, but the stories have been heavily watered-down to the point where the plots don't make a whole of sense, well, unless you've already read the novels. Many important scenes and dialogues were removed to shorten the movies to 89 minutes each

The acting varies per movie. Annalise Basso gives a good performance as Heaven and Jessica Clement is a scene-stealer as Fanny. Besides those two actresses, the rest of the cast either overacts or cannot act at all. If you've read the books, then you'll know there were many mistakes in the casting of the films.

Despite the fact five films have to share 2 discs, the picture and sound qualities are pretty decent.

Overall, the V.C. Andrews' Casteel Family DVD is only going to appeal to diehard V.C. Andrews' fans. They're not the worst movies in the world, but many of you will be disappointed.

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