Skip to main content

Grace




2009
Directed By Paul Solet
Starring Jordan Ladd and Samantha Ferris

Complications with birth have declined dramatically in the last century but they are still somewhat common. And yet the idea of a stillborn birth is so deeply tragic and saddening that most of us are clueless when it comes to even discussing the topic let alone dealing with it on any personal  or profound level. Simply put the subject is taboo. We all know it happens. It happens to all of us, in that it has happened to us or someone we know and yet still we don't talk about it. To take this premise as a starting point for a horror film is a stroke of genius.

Madeline Matheson (Ladd) is given the worst news possible for an expectant mother , the news that all parents dread, that she has lost her unborn child. Her decision to carry the child to term is one that showed a remarkable level of commitment to this child and firmly establishes the type of parent she would make. Following the birth of her child something truly remarkable happens. The child returns to life.

This being a horror film we know that something is deeply wrong with this situation and there will be a price to pay for necromancing. This film is about a devotion that causes a woman to abandon her moral compass and do anything she can to hang on to an idea. Her love is not rooted in the child itself but the idea of a child and the idea of motherhood. We all have ideals that cause us to ignore the truth. Sometimes when you want something so badly you are unwilling or unable to face the reality of it not being what you imagined once you get it. 

This is a gory film that offers no pleasure in its on screen splatter. Everything in the film is played straight. The only relationship in this film that matters is the one between a mother and her child. The husband who died the same day as the child is quickly forgotten and the lesbian midwife who replaces him is completely disposable. I'm not sure if this is a commentary from the point of view of a father who feels left out of his family or a cautionary tale for men who date vegans but either way the film has a somewhat bitter tone throughout. That's not to say I didn't enjoy the film because I think this is highly watchable. It just has the undercurrent of a man who was scorned and has some shit he needs to work out.  

The point of horror is to make the audience face its darkest fears. We are given the experience of wrestling with these fears in a darkened room thanks to horror films. This experience can be cathartic and helpful to open dialogues about subject matters that we might otherwise sweep under the rug and ignore. I'm not sure Grace will help to open any dialogues about infant mortality but it does take this taboo subject head on and there is definitely something to be said for that.




Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Internet Trolls and Critics in the Age of Rotten Tomatoes - A Look at the Critical Response to GOTTI

Hate, intolerance, and cruelty are the most valued currencies in the digital age. Online publications deal in the same eye-catching tabloid headlines that were once exclusive to rags like WEEKLY WORLD NEWS and the NATIONAL ENQUIRER. The monetization of clicks is ruining many forms of journalism and film criticism is just one of them. When organizations can see what headlines are generating revenue its only natural that sensationalism would start to rise. There is no consorted hivemind like conspiracy to destroy certain films but rather internet activity that has boosted a certain type of writer. From the outside, online film critics share quite a bit with their Twitter troll counterparts.

The critical response to John Travolta's passion project Gotti has been less than favorable, in fact, it has been downright abysmal. A project over ten years in the making, Travolta has poured his heart and soul into this venture. And many writers seem to take pleasure in the film's failure.

I…

NO ALTERNATIVE review

Depression is often marked by sadness, despair, and hopelessness. The sense that things will not get better is something most of us pass through at different points in our lives. But depression is something more than that. It’s not just a temporary feeling, it’s a debilitating emotional state that you can’t simply pull yourself out of. The angry outbursts, irritability, and frustration that come along with depression can isolate individuals suffering from this condition and push them deeper into their own thoughts. Everyone needs to be heard and sometimes those who can’t express themselves in traditional forms find their voice in art.
Edvard Munch wrestled with agoraphobia and frequently had hallucinations, one of which inspired THE SCREAM, a painting so iconic that even the most casual art enthusiast is familiar with the piece.  Sylvia Plath took a more direct approach with THE BELL JAR and laid out the details of her depression with brutal honesty. Briana Dickerson a white suburba…

99 FROM 99: Cruel Intentions

On our latest episode of99 FROM 99, one host discovers some disturbing secrets about his co-host. All will be revealed in this episode on guilty pleasure CRUEL INTENTIONS! Namely that one host disagrees with the verdict of feeling guilt for enjoying this look at the cutthroat world of the powerful and wealthy transported to the realm of high school drama. Meanwhile the other host just feels bad for Selma Blair and all parties involved, including our dear listeners. Did we mention to give us a follow and a listen at the links below? Support what we do with bonus content and early episodes onPatreon Listen iTunes/Podbean Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @99from99