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Grace (2009)

Written and Directed by Paul Solet

Aside from the awkward moment we find ourselves leering in upon once the film starts, we may already know where such a tale is headed. Girl ensures pregnancy, Girl and Boy get in fatal accident, Girl survives and is forced to take care of her demon baby, but not really. That’s pretty average, right?  Just a kiddo who favored blood opposed to milk and rats to the otherwise baby food. Because while the couple had discussed birthing options prior, it was Maddy (Jordan Ladd) who insisted on going with something not as traditional and using a midwife. But not just any midwife, one in which she had formerly worked with as well as shared a relationship with. As to the nature of such is really left in an ambiguous nature concerning the two. Never saying too much and leaving just enough for the audience to create what they would rather see most fitting.

The problem with their choice lying solely with the mother-in-law who would not only prefer the couple to be in a Hospital but under the supervision of her own practitioner, Dr. Richard Sohn (Malcolm Stewart). The two obtaining yet another questionable relationship that is used more so as a bargaining chip than anything else. As Vivian (Gabrielle Rose) harbors lost emotions over losing her son (early on in the film) and wishing to bear a child once again. She becomes obsessed with Grace, convinced she could prove Madeline to be the unfit mother knowing with plans of taking her daughter into custody soon after. The hilarity in Vivian’s actions only proving to become more eye-raising as the movie unfolds. While one can perhaps, understand the point of view meant for this character, its easy to immediately name her as the villain of the film. Though easily argumentative, shes spot on a stone cold queen B from the first moment on-screen and doesn’t relent if in fact, not exceeding to greater lengths to show her crazy.

Because while Maddy had been positive she had lost her baby due to the accident, she’d rather wait out the three weeks and carry to term. A choice her midwife understood, despite growing concerns from those around her. It’s only after the actual birth that strange incidents begin to occur. Almost willing her daughter back to life, Grace is found suckling at her mother’s tit, simply a smile found on Maddy. The first couple of days seemingly normal as they progressively changed for the worse. The first occurrence happening during a bath in which a rash causes the tiny tub to fill with blood. Soon after finding that no matter the tactics used for prevention, a swarm of flies were unable to stop emerging from within her vicinity. Her mother’s milk not sufficient as there seemed to be only one thing little Gracie would have preferred. “Kinder kills, cleaner cuts,” as only the best will do. Biting off more than she could chew as Madeline finds herself exhausted while trying to provide for her daughter.

And while our three “main” characters do eventually meet up in the end; as Dr. Sohn had assured Vivian he would further handle what was promised. It’s as though the entire situation was poorly constructed into some hurried charade of weird and unnecessary moments. Because it wasn’t enough that Maddy already didn’t trust or even like her mother in-laws intentions towards her baby. But being so willing to let this man into her home and at that, let him perform a physical and attempt to pump milk? Hearing Gracie through the monitor and instinctively “feeling” an illness about in her voice, he races up the stairs. Soon stopped from a blow to the head as Vivian soon follows the crazy in where she could no doubt balance everything out with her own. Later, finding Patty and her “family” traveling with new identities and one problem left unsolved; what happens once she starts teething? Seriously. Because ah, the last image was NOT a pretty one.

My interest in this film peaking so long as it had Jordan Ladd and the fact that it seemed an original enough thriller. Considering that Solet had mentioned wanting it originally as a creature film. But then it would have been too reminiscent of It’s Alive and while, it could never be that, certain remnants certainly lurked about. Despite no mention of such as an inspiration. But it’s also a story about obsession from a mothers standpoint. How a woman can have a clear vision of what bearing a child will mean to her and how that obsession can not only run over their life but the life of their child, as seen with Vivian. Finding her at her low point with displaced photos all around as she literally dusts off her old breast pump. Entranced with the thought of being able to start over again. It was sad almost; her displacement to the entire situation. The Story wasn’t anything overly exciting and there was a stillness that came out tawdry and monotonous after the fact. Because having one main Actor behind a film shouldn’t establish how great it will be. Yet an unfortunate downside to the Horror films that aren’t readily up for grabs are that they’re expected to carry almost the entire film when not as easily achievable.