Thursday, October 15, 2009

Day 15 - Grace

This was the fourth of my four movies in four days. The third was 9 - I went out to catch one of the last shows before it left the theaters. And as it was ending its run, it was relegated to one of the smaller venues, as is usually the case. Which just so happened to be theater '6'. And - every theater in this particular chain is lit up with first: the number of the theater, and second: the title of the movie. I'll pause for a moment while you go back and put those two together.

I almost stopped and yelled back at the counter, 'Did y'all do this on PURPOSE??'
This is probably why Plan 9 started 20 minutes late last week - all the kids that work there were probably out back having a smoke and laughing their asses off.

Back to Grace. This straight to video gem is about Madeline (Jordan Ladd) who is pregnant for the third time - and kind of already a little nutty about doing all the 'right things for her unborn baby - avoiding chemicals, eating vegan, finding the right doctor (she finally settles on a midwife who happens to be an old friend of hers). But Madeline has already had two unsuccessful pregnancies, so she's understandably a little paranoid.

But sadly, life takes a tragic turn of events when Madeline and her husband have an accident which leads to the death of her unborn child. Unfortunately, hubby bites it too, and Madeline decides to not let the doctors induce her labor - and decides to carry the fetus to term and give birth.

The birth is painful and sad, and the midwife delivers the stillborn child to Madeline to say goodbye. But after everyone leaves Madeline alone to mourn, they return to find that maybe the baby isn't so stillborn after all......

Madeline takes Grace home to start her life over and celebrate her 'miracle' daughter. But soon Madeline finds out that her daughter isn't quite like other babies - breast milk won't quite cut it. No, it turns out that Grace needs the red stuff to survive.

This movie was directed by Paul Solet and will definitely go on my short list of best horror films I've seen this year. Halfway through the movie I thought I'd figured it out - only to keep changing my mind every five minutes. I still don't know if the story is literal - is this just the story of a child born to drink blood and the lengths a mother will go to make sure her child survives? Or is it a psychological tale of a woman who has been so scarred by tragedy that she creates a fantasy world that takes her deeper and deeper into her own madness?

I'm still not sure. But if you're read my reviews before, you know this is the kind of film I live for - one that makes me think about it for days afterwards - a movie that doesn't have all the lines drawn in. I know I'll still be pondering this one in the weeks to come.

One thing I am sure of is that Jordan Ladd did an outstanding job as Madeline. Ladd, who is starting to build up her horror resume with films such as Cabin Fever, Hostel II, and DeathProof (Shanna Banana!!), makes you want as badly as she does for that baby to just be alive, and even though you know in your heart of hearts that she's not headed to a good place, you still want her to be able to be that mother that she so badly wants to be.

The movie is fairly bloody (can't make a movie about a baby that drinks blood without lots of the red stuff!) but not overly gory. It also reminded me of another film about a baby who needs to drink blood, Grave of the Vampire. Which is a great film as well - but for completely different reasons. Who knows, it may warrant a review later on this month......
Mama F.

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