A combination splatter flick and demon child extravaganza that succeeds in bloody special effects but fails to become an actual movie
Emerging director Paul Solet has picked up a couple of awards for this horror film exploring the darker side of motherly love although the picture will appeal to only the most august of horror film aficionados. A cross between a vampire theme and a splatter flick, “Grace” delves into somewhat original territory when it comes to developing into a giant bloody mess on screen. BTW, the R rating is for real and if chewed up breasts are not your cup of tea give this one a miss.
On the good side, as one of the most virulent of blood thirsty celebrations out there “Grace” manages to disrespect almost every common virtue going. Motherhood is the first to go, what with giving birth to the dead child and all. But then, when the dead child is born alive and we see what it is we want to institute the death penalty for newborns. Beyond this comes the complete disrespect for parents and for the hallowed institution of marriage in general. The culmination is a celebration of cannibalism and the validation of the complete victory of the devil-possessed over the earthly rational and good.
Jordan Ladd (“Cabin Fever,” “Death Proof”) plays the loving mother Madeline who has finally become pregnant after years of attempts. She has an extremely normal, loving, reasonable and rational husband Michael (Stephen Park) who cooperates with her all the way and is sharing her excitement over the expected child when he is killed in a freak highway accident. Remember, in horror films there is no such thing as a freak accident and this one looks suspicious from the get-go.
Congrats to writer/director Paul Solet for setting up the beginning so well. The 10/10 niceness of the hubby provides the best shocking outcome once the audience realizes what his 10/10 wife Madeline brings home from the hospital. Although it is hard to steer clear of all the spoilers in this film the first hint something is wrong is when Madeline goes shopping for baby food and comes home with 15 pounds of raw meat.
In the course of planning for the delivery the couple checks out a midwife by the name of Dr. Patricia Lang (Samantha Ferris). Dr. Lang also is introduced as a squared-away lady with Ivy League medical credentials who just loves to show up incompetent egotistic male doctors who don’t know gas pains from a gall stone. Luckily, she is in the right place at the right time and saves the mother and child for another day. But was that just coincidence or was that part of a grander plan; something far beyond your standard HMO?
When all is said and done there is blood everywhere. There is blood on the floors, sinks, clothing and coming out of every body orifice in spurts, splashes, dribbles and tidal waves. A splatter movie? Yes, to the hilt, and we are glad of it. With touches of cannibalism and sexual mutilation to boot. OK, no more spoilers.
Good supporting work by Serge Houde as the hen pecked husband of mother-in-law Vivian. Gentle husbands and gentle men in general have another thing coming at the hands of the alpha females in this flick. Great supporting work by Gabrielle Rose as mother-in-law from hell Vivian Matheson who knows a demon child when she sees it and never misses a chance to flog or browbeat any member of the family.
On the bad side, there is not really any acting in this film nor is there any cinematography. The script is expected to do most of the work, along with the special effects and the hundred gallons of blood. Just say the lines and cut to the carnal tidal wave.
Directed and Written by: Paul Solet
Starring: Jordan Ladd, Samantha Ferris and Gabrielle Rose
Release: August 14, 2009
MPAA: Rated R for bloody images, violence and some sexual content
Runtime: 85 minutes
Country: USA / Canada