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"Grace", the long feature debut of writer/director Paul Solet, is an oddly unsettling but refreshingly inventive horror-drama hybrid that can't possibly be categorized into one single genre. This film is deeply disturbing, emotionally moving, darkly comical and intellectually engaging all at the same time and that is quite a remarkable thing to achieve for a young director who only shot a few short movies before, is it not? "Grace" literally baths in an unclassifiable grisly atmosphere, the detailed character drawings are unique and plausible and the concept although rationally impossible is nightmarishly upsetting. The announcer at the Belgian Fantasy Festival, where I watched this movie, advised for couples with young children and particularly pregnant women to leave the theater and that was definitely a good move (not that there were many), as this instant gem covers pretty much all the imaginable horrors of motherhood, like troublesome conception, intrusive mother-in-laws, alternate delivery methods, loss of husband and worst of all a still born baby. Madeline doesn't really care about too much except for the 7-months-old fetus in her wombs and bringing it into this world in an old-fashioned and natural way, with a traditional midwife and vitamins instead of a hospital doctors and anesthetics. When the baby stops moving after a tragic car accident, in which also her docile husband dies, Madeline is nevertheless determined to give birth when the time is due. The baby, Grace, miraculously comes out of the womb alive and seemingly healthy, but soon after Madeline's biggest ordeal comes to the surface. Grace needs blood instead of breast milk and, the devoted mother she is, Madeline does everything within her power to provide this. Meanwhile, mother-in-law Vivian tries to do everything to obtain guardianship over Grace as she's convinced Madeline is mentally incapable of nursing her granddaughter. The sequences where Madeline "sacrifices" her own health in order to feed her eccentric baby girl are simultaneously disruptive and affectionate. This is a peculiar combination of sentiment that we're really not used to witnessing in the horror genre, but it's extremely compelling to say the least. Also the sub plot involving the aging Vivian rediscovering her femininity is disturbing, but in a totally and never before experienced fashion. "Grace" contains multiple shocking moments and grueling images, especially near the end, but the violence or bloodshed is never at one point exploitative or tasteless. So, cult loving horror fans please don't start thinking this is a modern update of Larry Cohen's early 70's crazed killer baby flick "It's Alive" or you risk feeling very much ripped off. This is an often uncomfortably slow-paced and intriguing psychological drama/thriller, with stylish photography and hypnotizing acting performances. Jordan Ladd is amazing as Madeline and this was probably the first film set where she could demonstrate her talented acting capacities, because until now I only saw her in lighter horror stuff like "Death Proof" and "Club Dread". Ladd also receives superb support from Gabrielle Rose as Vivian (truly a courageous performance) and Samantha Ferris as the alternative midwife. "Grace" honestly is a movie you won't forget about easily, that is one guarantee I can give you.
After looking into the director of "Grace" I found that this movie is
obviously based on a short movie he did 3 years before. And that is
more explanation than I needed because basically this movie has nothing
but the premise you already get in the synopsis. Woman tries to get
pregnant, then loses her child in a car-crash, still brings it to birth
and miraculously the baby lives. Of course the baby was dead and so its
now a kind of undead baby that needs blood instead of breast milk.
The whole movie is sloooow paced and tries to be edgy and have a kind of black humor (for example the woman is a vegan and pretty obsessed with healthy food etc.) but it leads nowhere. For a horror movie this is damn boring, for a psychological movie I miss any depth. It looks like the director just has the two odd ideas of the undead baby attracting a lot of flies and chewing on its mothers bloodied breasts. Apart from that I don't see much here. At first the strange calm atmosphere of the movie really captures you but about half through the movie you realize that "Grace" indeed is nothing but a short-story stretched to feature length. After all a real big disappointment.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The movie "Grace" is a disturbing one. The plot of the story is that a
woman, Madeline (Jordan Ladd) and her husband, Michael (Stephen Park),
have been trying to conceive unsuccessfully. They have been pregnant
twice before, but she had miscarriages. This time they have been
successful and everything seems completely fine. Everything is
completely fine until there is a crash which is the result of the car
airbag flying open at the complete wrong time. This accident, results
in the death of Madeline's husband (which she seems completely
unbothered about) and her unborn child. She decides to keep the baby
inside her for the term, until finally she gives birth to a stillborn.
It is quite a sad scene when the child is finally born and is not
responding to anything. She sits with it begging for it not to leave
her. The midwife, (who is a long term friend of Madeline) tells her she
can't just wish for her baby to be alive. Whilst she is saying this
sentence, the baby of course comes back to life and Madeline introduces
baby Grace to the audience. Everything seems fine until Grace decides
she doesn't like milk but has a thirst for blood, which is ironic
knowing her mother is a vegan. Madeline tries to provide Grace with
blood as much as she can either by purchasing fresh cow's meat or
enduring the pain herself. This would be fine and life would go on, if
it wasn't for her interfering mother-in-law, Vivian (Gabrielle Rose),
and her doctor, Richard (Malcolm Stewart). Vivian interferes because
she has a disturbing fetish to breast feed and Richard interferes
because he has a disturbing habit to drink breast milk. Together they
try to take baby Grace away from Madeline.
This film is not your typical horror film. It isn't scary, it doesn't make you jump and it doesn't get your adrenaline pumping. It's the opposite. It is very slow moving and not very exciting in the slightest. The only thing that keeps you hooked into the film is the fact that it is so very wrong. Another thing that makes the film so wrong is the ability to make you feel sorry for mother and child. This baby is feeding off blood and the mother will do anything to allow it. However awful this may be, the mother is so desperate to have a child and she still loves it unconditionally and therefore the audience feels the need to understand that what Madeline is doing for the child is completely acceptable.
This movie is different. It won't win any Oscars for acting, directing, cinematography or even special effects (baby Grace, at times, seems scarily weird, watch out for the close ups of the mouth), but it is a good film to watch if you want something unique. However, don't begin to watch the movie expecting anything special. If you take it one step at a time it will be enjoyable. The ending of the film (and I will say this, hopefully, without giving anything away), is possibly one of the strangest things I have ever seen. The last line and one of the last images with give you a "wtf, this is wrong," moment.
Overall, the concept of this film is different. It is a slow paced film, but isn't entirely boring. It comes under the category of horror, but isn't scary. It is more chilling. If you want something different to the blockbusters, watch it. If not, then don't.
Madeline Matheson (Jordan Ladd) has unsuccessfully been trying to get
pregnant with her husband Michael (Stephen Park). When she finally
succeeds, she decides to be assisted by the midwife Patricia Lang
(Samantha Ferris) despite the insistence of her snoopy mother-in-law
Vivian (Gabrielle Rose) that wants the family obstetrician Dr. Richard
Sohn (Malcolm Stewart) instead. When Michael and Madeline have a car
accident, Michael and the unborn baby die; however, Madeleine insists
on carrying out the pregnancy. Patricia accepts her request to pretend
stillbirth. However, the baby Grace is miraculously delivered and
sooner Madeleine discovers that Grace needs to be fed with human blood.
"Grace" is a refreshing and disturbing low-budget horror movie. The dramatic story is certainly unpleasant and not recommended for pregnant women, but the director and writer Paul Solet has created a totally different story with touches of black-humor. The slow-pace might be the cause for the unfair review in IMDb. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "O Mistério de Grace" ("The Mystery of Grace")
I can see why people would not like this movie. First of all, Paul
Solet is making satire and horror of something that people hold sacred.
The very love of a mother. This is embodied by two characters. The
protagonist mother Madeline Matheson (Jordan Ladd) and her
mother-in-law Vivian Matheson (Gabrielle Rose).
The movie starts with a soft-core sex scene in which Madeline seem extremely bored. We soon find out she's lesbian, so it is implied she did only get a husband to get pregnant. This is also implied by her lack of care when her husband dies. The scene where Madeline for over two minutes hugs and kisses what looks to be a baby corpse was disturbing. Later on in the movie she proves that she loves her baby no matter what.
After Vivian loses her son,Madeline's husband Michael (Stephen Park) in the car accident she becomes desperate to get hold of the baby, as she does not trust in Madeline's being-mother knowledge. She shows disturbing behavior, wanting her husband to breastfeed on her, seemingly because she wants to have a child, and probably can't have one because her biological clock has run out.
Overall this is a pretty decent horror though. It has a very disturbing atmosphere to it, probably at the cost of pace. It has some moments I felt a little ill (in a good way), because of the mood and atmosphere. The dialogs were cheap. The characters were overall a little boring. Madeline was luckily the most interesting and best played character. Vivian was overplayed by Gabrielle Rose. I didn't get a grip of the husband, nothing was lost to the audience when he died. But the thing is, cheap dialogs and poorly developed characters is not uncommon in the horror genre, as I said the movie is pretty decent.
I recommend this movie to everyone who likes the trailer, and are not bothered by a slow pace. The trailer is pretty much, what you see is what you get.
I was really looking forward to this movie. The horror site fangoria really gave this movie great reviews and even dared to say it was a great horror movie. I again really went out of my way to see this great movie which was suppose to be ground breaking horror and oh boy was this a piece of horror scifi channel trash!!! The concept was pretty good, car accident, baby dies and yet at birth the baby is alive. Sounds interesting right!!! Well thats pretty much it because after that the movie goes downhill. It goes from a still birth baby to a crying baby and then you get an hour and ten minutes of asking yourself how and why is this going on with this baby. Did I miss anything within the movie that I'm left wondering what i just saw and why is that happening. This is a movie which will leave u running in a circle and yet the ending makes things much worst and adds no closure other then expecting a sequel to try to understand this movie. Do yourself a favor if your reading this review and take my word please. Skip this movie and save yourself the time and read a book or color a picture because this movie is just that bad.
This is one of the most disturbing and demented movies I have ever seen, and that's saying a lot. Jordan Ladd, in her best role to date, imo, plays a pregnant woman, that loses her unborn child in a car accident. BUT, she still wants to carry the dead baby in her womb, until in a gut wrenching scene, she delivers it. It is dead when delivered, but when placed in her arms for a short while, it comes back alive. However, this is the start of a nightmare, that I would not recommend for women period to watch, especially Mothers, because I think it would be almost impossible and unbearable to watch. The baby doesn't have an appetite for milk, it likes blood and only blood, and the Mother (Ladd) is trying to fulfill its needs. Extremely disturbing scenes, and a pretty original horror film, that is not really gory, but pretty bloody. I was actually stunned as I watched it, and to ease the tension a little, it has one of the best killing of a fly scenes I have ever seen in a movie. Great stuff for our demented fans, I highly recommend it to you sickos.
A young couple Michael and Madeline are having their first baby.Unfortunately very tragic car accident results in death of Michael.Medical exam reveals that their baby has died as well.A devastated Madeline decides to carry the baby to term.And Grace is born.She who is thirsty for blood instead of milk."Grace" by Paul Solet is an unsettling horror film with excellent central performance of Jordan Ladd.Madeline is an overprotective parent who will kill and destroy life for her vampire baby.Her maternal devotion is almost psychopathic.The atmosphere of creeping dread is well-developed in "Grace".There is a bit of disgusting gore and a lot of suffering.Pretty bleak and sad horror film that is not for the easily offended.8 cribs out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The synopsis is much more interesting than the whole. What seemed to me
to be a very interesting premise initially, unfortunately, never became
more than that. Nothing happens. It is as though the first one hour and
fifteen minutes sets up the last ten. I know that can be said of many
movies, but with a movie that has a zombie/vampire baby I was really
hoping for more "in the middle" stuff. I just kept waiting for
something to justify having spent the last hour of my life taking this
As far as a review goes, the acting isn't terrible, if not a bit cardboard. The production values are reasonably good, all things being considered. One hour and twenty five minutes of run time makes it a reasonably small investment given that when one agrees to watch a movie like this one agrees to "roll the dice" cinematically.
*meh*...it was either this or mow the lawn. As it turns out the lawn still needs the mowing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Madeline (Jordan Ladd) is 8 months pregnant and is determined to give
birth to her daughter Grace. When a car accident takes the lives of her
husband and Grace, she is still determined. Good for Madeline, the
daughter comes back-but things are going to get worse.
A dark, dramatic tale of horror, "Grace" is a creepy, understated ride rife with social commentary, Black Humor, and excellent performances. Ladd in particular is great. She doesn't play the typical horror female-she's neither a slutty dumb blond, a innocent virgin, or a tough action heroine. She's a realistic woman put into a terrible situation. Add to that, Gabrielle Rose is also great as the sympathetic villain Vivian, whose jealousy of Grace's child (due mostly to her dead son) leads to a white knuckle conclusion.
In fact, none of the female characters are weak or clichéd. The film is particularly effective as an subversion of the traditional horror film-something the recent flick "Jennifer's Body" attempted but failed to accomplish. Also notable is the subversion of motherhood-most movies look at the idea of having a child as a joy, yet here in horror tradition, it is a burden, but not the type one would be used to in horror flicks involving infants.
Some probably won't like "Grace"-they might feel turned off by it's feminist undertones, it's slow burn style (though there's some wonderfully nasty surprises in store-especially the final shot) or it's use of character drama instead of constant scares. Those looking for something different in today's horror and increasingly predictable Independent film environment might find themselves surprised, and maybe even impressed by this little horror flick.
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