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Wow, this is a rarity: a modern-day film in which the Christians
(mostly nuns in this story) are the "good guys" and the New Age
advocates are the devil-like "bad guys." That really annoys all the
secular critics, which means about 99 percent of them.
Rufus Sewell plays a Satan-worshiping cult leader who tries to kidnap young Holliston Coleman, someone with special healing powers. Kim Basinger, in an unusual wholesome low-key role, plays the aunt-turned-parent/guardian of the kid.
There is some very good suspense here, especially at the end and some shocking horror scenes of violence. "Shocking" not just because of what happened but the film was so family-oriented up until then. Overall, though, a decent story and a good message. Even though I liked it, it wouldn't a film I would watch multiple times, although a second look is likely.
BLESS THE CHILD is another one of those films that fit right into the
category of 'satan-becomes-man-and-is-about-to-take-over-the-world' movies.
Other examples of the genre would be END OF DAYS and LOST SOULS. Both of
which are good. BLESS THE CHILD is not better than these two films and it is
not worse either. It is just the same.
Maggie (Kim Basinger) lives with her sister's daughter, Cody (Holliston Coleman). When Cody gets discovers that she has special powers and abilities, she is targeted by a cult led by her sister's fiance, Eric Stark (Rufus Sewell). With the help of a gothic cult follower (Christina Ricci) that is willing to help her, Maggie must stop the cult from using Cody's powers for their ultimate goal...use them to summon the Devil.
Now, this is a cool movie. Not too much action, but some. A little bit of horror thrown in for good measure, and some thrilling sequences- and you got a good movie. See this film, if you are a fan of the genre. Otherwise, you probably won't like it that much. But, otherwise, this is one thrill-ride of a film! BLESS THE CHILD: 5/5.
I have been going to the movies for 55 years now. And I have been writing
novels for nearly 30 years, with 38 published thus far. One of my favorite
genres as a moviegoer is the horror thriller, which is one in which I have
written also, usually within a Christian context.
BLESS THE CHILD is unquestionably one of the finest genre movies I have ever seen, the kind that combine Christian themes and thriller techniques. I like it because it is relatively subdued, with sincere underplayed acting, and a minimum of Hollywood hocus-pocus.
The themes are:
1) The triumph of God over the devil, instead of the reverse. 2) The power of prayer. 3) The depiction of angels of light. 4) Brief but effective moments when demonic creatures, normally in an unseen supernatural existence, are revealed starkly. 5) No attempt to make evil seem other than loathsome, destructive. 6) Child-like faith enables us to resist Satan.
The direction by Chuck Russell was excellent, involving; no wonder he came close to directing the screen version of THIS PRESENT DARKNESS. There was almost no foul language, and the brutal episodes were less in number than usual.
I notice the Christian moments were referred to as "propaganda". Why is it propaganda when biblical references are used but not propaganda when humanism, nihilism, abortion, homosexuality, adultery and such are similarly promoted?
I showed BLESS THE CHILD to a neighbor couple, folks who are not especially religious. They were enthralled by it, reacting nervously when the suspense is intensified, rejoicing at the more inspiring moments.
BLESS THE CHILD is not a toweringly great movie but, rather, an intensely reverent one, directed with intelligence, acted with conviction, without nude scenes, and thankfully lacking a tidal wave of vulgarity,
Rated: R Runtime: 107mins Release Date: 2000
For Maggie O'Connor a surprise visit from her sister meant much more than catching up on old times. Maggie's sister, being to strung out and confused to do anything more than act crazed, leaves Maggie with something she herself could not conceive, a beautiful baby girl. What Maggie and the rest of the world don't yet know but will find out, is that this baby girl is something even more special than they could ever possibly begin to imagine.
Bless the Child stars the beautiful Kim Bassinger as Maggie O'Connor, a single New York native whose world is completely changed when her long lost younger sister comes to pay her a surprise visit. Maggie's sister has also brought along her daughter Cody, who is seemingly just a beautiful baby girl. But confused and addicted to heroin, Maggie's sister leaves Cody in Maggie's protection. So for the next seven years Maggie raises Cody as her own daughter but finds out that this little girl isn't like most little girls. For instance she has the ability to make things move with her mind and has an unexplainable healing touch. But Maggie isn't the only person who knows that Cody is special, as a matter of fact there has been an underground occult group that have been looking for someone like Cody for the past seven years, believing her to be the savior or destruction of mankind. Eventually they find Cody, and coincidentally at the same time Cody's mother shows up again, clean and sober and married to a famous author and child enthusiast, Eric Stark (an always awesome Rufus Sewell), who isn't quite what he seems. Cody's mother and Stark want Cody back and they will stop at nothing, including kidnapping, to do so. But along to help Maggie get Cody back is special Agent Travis (Jimmy Smits), an expert in the occult field who has been tracking the people that have been looking for Cody for the past seven years. Together the two will travel through hell on earth to get this extraordinary child back.
I'll start off by saying at least this film was much better and had many more thrills than the almost simultaneously released Lost Souls. There are some solid performances by the leads, especially Bassinger, whose acting, much like her beauty, just seems to keep improving with age. Sewell was also notable in his genuinely creepy role as Stark, and has been near the top of my actors list since I first saw him in the astonishing Dark City. I have to give them and Smits kudos because even when the movie starts to drag at least they can be counted on to keep the film worth watching.
Director Chuck Russell makes a good attempt to throw in horror and chills at the right moments and even throws in some great effects such as the Devil's manifestation in to a throne and even a rolling head for fans of a little gore. Also worth mentioning are some genuinely touching scenes added in especially one in which Cody is in the hospital and gives a dying woman a hug and some very kind words. Russell is a good director who has a bright future ahead but he has to learn how to fill in the middle with as much substance as the beginning and end, because I must admit the movie does start to get a little repetitive. Screenplay writers Tom Rickman and Clifford and Ellen Green do a solid job of adapting Cathy Cash Spellman's interesting novel to the big screen. However the storyline is very evident as a cross between Rosemary's Baby and The Omen, which can plainly be seen as a slight lack of originality.
Bless the child is a well crafted horror film with some strong aspects and a great feel, but like so many movies adapted from books there is a little too much talk and not quite enough horror. I do, however, recommend this film because the good qualities do outweigh the bad, and it is one of the better horrors in recent release. Leaving it up to a choice though, you can either go out and watch Winona Ryder bore up Lost Souls, or you can sit back and enjoy beautiful Kim Bassinger Bless the Child.
Overall Rating: 6 out of 10
Kim Basinger is great in this, great good vs evil, every good deed is high
lighted. "A good man is not alone in the world." Great
You'll get film snobs who will over search too many things, but the story and entertainment is top notch, great star in Basinger, good morale and religious overtones. A enjoyable supernatural ride that has elements of horror. It's a story done before with End of Days and Lost Souls, but I like them all, if they dress it up to entertain, then no problem with me, these stories are important and timeless. Good vs Evil, and its done well for me.
Bless the Child is about a 6 year old girl born under a star so she has special powers, and she is destined to lead many to God. However there is a satanic cult out to turn her to the "dark side", if you will. It was a pretty good movie, it had to do with God, angels, the devil. Quite frankly I liked it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Maggie( Kim Basinger) is a lonely woman without a family and on one rainy day, she suddenly finds her sister jenna( Angela Bettis) who she hasn't seen in two years at her doorstep with a baby. Jenna is to worn out and can't lay off the drugs she's been using so she runs away and leaves Maggie with her baby. As slowly the years pass by, it seems that cody (Holliston Coleman) suffers from some kind of autism. Her disorder is hard to explain but it is bluntly obvious that Cody isn't like ordinary children. Meanwhile, in the neighbourhood are some horrible murders going around. Kids are being found dead in a gruesome ritual where they all have the same satanic symbol burned on their bodys. No one can explain who is doing this but when Cody becomes a target for these murders, Maggie will do anything to save her niece. I enjoyed this movie, i think the acting was very good, especially by Kim Basinger and Angela Bettis. My favorite actress Christina Ricci had only a very small part in this movie but I still enjoyed seeing her. I would give Bless The Child 8/10
After seeing the previews on this movie, my friends and I wanted to see it right away for three reasons: 1) it seemed like it had a very touching plot; 2) the special effects seemed very real; and 3) we love Christina Ricci. So, we decided to see it the Friday it came out. But, when we walked out of the theater, we were laughing our heads off because of how dumb the movie was. First, the plot was not believable, did not move along smoothly, and was generally boring. Yes, the leads act really well, but the plot made them look like chickens running around with their heads off. Second, the effects were mediocre. Although, I did not expect much in the ways of effects in the movie, this was pretty bad. Have you ever seen someone trying to kill someone else with a butter knife?! I have, in this movie! Thirdly, almost the entire preview was spent on Christina Ricci's role. But the length of her on-screen in the movie is equal to the amount of time she is in the trailer. Her role could easily be filled by an extra! Her role had no challenge, hardly any lines and hardly any effect on the movie. So, if you want a good laugh at a stupid, "it's-been-done" movie, or if you have nothing better to do, see "Bless The Child". If not, you would be as disappointed as my friends and I were.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie really affected me. It keeps haunting me two
after seeing it ...
- How did that script get to production? - How did the movie get to general release? - And they spent money marketing it?!
There are a few inconsequential spoilers here. Read them anyway; just don't see the film.
Bless The Child broke the cardinal rule of film-making: "Create Tension". It was never in doubt that the good guys were going to win the war. Of course. But in this film, they weren't even allowed to lose a battle. The good guys could cheat by having God step in and get them out of anything.
"Your car's hanging off a bridge and about to fall? Here, take this angel's hand." I'm not kidding. Real angels. Sent just because the good guys had to win. *puke*
The six-year-old girl gave not the slightest indication that she was going over to the dark side. Rufus Sewell did his best Darth Vader ("Feel the anger! Use the hate!"). Apparently his plan to take over the world depended on completely converting a little girl who was possessed by God. In attempting to do this, he immolated a homeless man. Yeah, that'll work. There wasn't a trace of a dilemma on the girl's face. What is your plan, Rufus?! Offer the girl the world? What's she going to do with it? And is the audience supposed to feel any of the temptation? We're never shown any upsides of this supposedly powerful evil. Not even a nice house.
That climax. I guess I could write it. Let's see, Rufus will wear a robe and speak some dangerous-sounding Latin. The little girl will sit there and do nothing. Some evil special-effects, build the tension ...
Oops. No tension, very brief effects, and then it's all over. Angels storm the place, and Rufus copped a God-guided bullet. Oh yeah, his second-in-command bizarrely rushed out of nowhere and was despatched in four seconds.
The final scene. A Rufus follower, in slow motion, in broad daylight, is racing to stab the little girl. She looks at him. He backs away. YOU CALL THAT A TWIST?!
Bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb (five bombs). And Kim Basinger taught Hugh Grant to run. At least that gave me a laugh.
The devil resides in New York City and from the moment this film
begins, we see exactly where this film is going. As the opening credits
roll, its wonderful atmospheric start with its close-up night time
shots of New York's gargoyles brings back memories of the great vampire
movie Queen of the Damned (2002) and its visual introduction to its
With the arrival of The Star of Yacov, better known as The Christmas Star, once more in some two thousand years, we see childless Maggie O'Connor (Kim Basinger) taking on her younger sisters new born baby Cody, as Cody is dumped on her door step, this elder sister, this wise mature woman and now surrogate mother takes on full responsibility. Myth has it too that Saint Margaret the Virgin is known to be the Patron Saint of Pregnancy, and who, as legend would have it, was brought up by a nurse after her father disowned her, and having once met with the devil, with him in the form of a dragon. Irony and coincidence perhaps for both, considering her name being Maggie and her inability to have children and baby Cody's circumstance.
Dealing with this child and her seemingly autistic state, autism being a condition that is caused by a disorder that prevents the brain developing properly, this in turn can impair interaction both socially and emotionally. It isn't until she reaches six years of age that Maggie's worries slowly turn into fears of what exactly is wrong with this exceptional child. There are more than just physical and mental states at play here that are more than concerning and enlightening. Maggie's doubts and fears are soon to be tested, to and far beyond the boundaries of human restraint.
Bless the Child uses fables and myth to bring old legends to contemporary settings. With the killing of the innocent children to flush out the Prophecy, the way in which we see this being done is very subtle and coaxing, if a little disturbing, bringing an uncomfortable reality that something sinister, something malevolent, something lurking in the shadows and something extremely evil is all to ready to pounce. Here lies the winning formula, the evil that we see is not so much dark forces of the underworld, but be warned, they exist here too, it is more the evil of man and his willingness to be lead and be controlled by them. Man against man, sin against morality and the age-old battle of Light against the Darkness. We see Eric Stark and his followers taking parallel lines in the similar vain as the real life Satan and occult master Aleister "The Beast" Crowley (1875 - 1947), founder of The Golden Dawn, and once labelled "The Wickedest Man in the World". With Eric Stark renaming his cult The New Dawn Foundation, it is he who most certainly carries this trade of old evils and new Beasts to a tee. English born Rufus Sewell plays Stark with convincing zeal, with both phoney exterior compassion and charm to literally devil-may-care cold indifference, intermingling both persona's well enough to know that we are dealing with more than just the basic human traits that we see, hear and deal with in life. Evil, as it seems holds no bounds.
Kim Basinger and Holliston Coleman (born 1992) bond very well, and a great performance as surrogate mother, she plays her role with devotion and with an honest and convincing feel. With just three years after winning her Best Actress in a Supporting Role for L.A. Confidential, this isn't Ms. Basinger going down a peg but raising the stakes in this thriller horror movie genre. Her integrity is most certainly kept in tact, and this is with the assistance of one Chuck Russell, director of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987), The Blob (1988), The Mask (1994) and The Scorpion King (2002). A fine team they make, and as with the gelling of the two leading ladies, it is his fine work in crafting young Holliston Coleman to a standard of high-end child acting. Expect to see more of this young girl. Especially, if she were to take the good advice from the ever professional and independently versatile actress Christina Ricci as the heroin addict Cheri Post, which is always a pleasure to see her working.
Bless the child also has its own parallels too, and lends itself to the likes of The Omen (1976), The Exorcist (1973) and the 1968 Roman Polanski film Rosemary's Baby, where we see children as axis of evils', Bless the Child sees the innocence and purity that is The Child; untainted and undemanding. Thus bearing the special gift of Life and the blessing of Divinity, sometimes disturbing, but slight, and at times touching, but never over demanding and horrific, which sets this movie of as being different and a little unique.
With moderate violence and with the help of a little CGI, a script that fights its own ground when in the amphitheatres of right and wrong, excellent and well cast, we can then be assured that Bless the Child most certainly has not been cursed.
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