Monday, March 15, 2010


Grace 2009
Director: Paul Solet
Writer: Paul Solet
Starring Jordan Ladd, Stephen Park, Gabrielle Rose, Serge Houde, Samantha Ferris, Kate Herriot and Malcolm Stewart

The killer baby genre is a long storied one in the horror film's history, beginning with Rosemary's Baby leading up to The Unborn. Grace is the latest in this sub genre and it really takes the idea and really turns it up on it's head. This is a film that likes to examine and at the same time skewer certain topics of modern life, like vegans, New Age therapy and natural birthing. What is most amazing about this film is that it was written and directed by a man. It is hard to believe that a man could capture the feminine process so well, but he does it expertly. This is a film that isn't really scary, but there are many moments in the film that are creepy as heel and leave you with a genuine feel of unease.
The plot revolves around Madeline (Ladd) and Michael (Park) and they have been trying for a long time to get pregnant. It is all Madeline (Ladd) thinks about. She (Ladd) finally gets pregnant but she does not want to go to a doctor, much to the chagrin of her Mother-in-law (Rose). Instead, she (Ladd) decides to go to a holistic clinic which is operated by a old college friend of hers, Patricia (Ferris). Not long after, they have a pregnancy issue and after it is dealt with, they are in a horrible car wreck on the way home and Michael (Park) is killed and Madeline (Ladd) has a miscarriage but decides to bring the baby to term and birth it. By some miracle the baby is not dead, but she does not like milk and Madeline (Ladd) soon discovers that Grace prefers blood. She (Ladd) does whatever it takes to feed Grace. Soon, Vivian (Rose) wants her (Ladd) to be checked out by her own personal doctor (Stewart) and this leads to some problems for Madeline (Ladd) and Grace.
This as a gripping film from beginning to end. It was really a unsettling scene to watch from the opening scene where Park and Ladd are having sex and he is really into it and she is just staring at something past the act and showing no emotion whatsoever. It really sets the tone for the film, that Madeline (Ladd) all she cares about is Grace and nothing else matters to her but keeping her baby safe. It is the most extreme example of the mother role. Solet's direction is very claustrophobic at times and for much of the film it is like a one person drama. Solet's script is solid as well, it is really cool how satirizes things like vegans and new age processes. All of the characters are fully realized and yo see them with all their strengths and weaknesses. The acting in the film is above board, especially the performances of Jordan Ladd and Gabrielle Rose. Ladd really freaks you out with the lengths she is willing to go to defend her child. Rose is very good as the Mother-in-law, who has issues with Madeline (Ladd) and feels that she needs to save Grace from what she believes is someone who is ill suited to motherhood. Rose does great acting sometimes with just a look here. The most interesting scene is where she is in bed with her husband and has him suckle her breasts like a baby, really quite unsettling. The SFX in the film is excellent, very realistic and hard to watch. This is a film I would highly recommend and I think would be a great film to watch alongside the French film Inside.
This one gets 5 out of 5

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