Let’s keep the Adam Green train rolling with a flick he produced tonight. Grace is a film in the same vein as Larry Cohen’s classic ‘70s killer baby film – It’s Alive. And who doesn’t love a good killer baby flick? Instead of placing the emphasis on the kills and blood like Cohen’s film did, Grace takes the emotional route. This is a carefully crafted suspenseful thriller, not a bloodletting gorefest. If you want to see a modern version of the Cohen film you can check out a review of the version he helped remake here. It sucks, though. Grace does not.
After carrying a dead baby to full-term, Madeline is pleasantly surprised when the baby springs to life. Instead of seeing this as the world’s biggest red flag ever, she gleefully takes the baby home. The thing is her new baby, Grace, doesn’t exactly go for baby formula and breast milk. Grace has a thirst for blood, human blood.
My immediate reaction was this film reminded me more of The Others with Nicole Kidman, than killer baby films. The lack of music during significant portions of the film worked very well in creating a moody atmosphere. Audiences are so accustomed to music that when it goes missing, it can create a more realistic and frightening picture. The motherly instincts of Madeline also bordered on the neurotic, much like Kidman did in her role.
The pacing is a little slow, the film doesn’t really pick up until the final few minutes. It worked for me, though, because I became invested in the characters. Jordan Ladd does an absolutely stunning job playing the new mom. Her range of emotions and actions match up well, even if they choices she makes are a bit ridiculous at times. I also really enjoyed the performance of the Step Mother. She was over the top and provided just enough comedy to allow for a quick smile.
There are several disturbing scenes sprinkled in throughout the film. Mostly in the form breast injuries (from teeth), which is, of course, a crime against humanity. There is a shortage of perfect breasts in the world; it’s a pity to damage any of them as my good friend Wesley might say.
The film isn’t for everyone. But for those looking for something a little different in the horror genre, Grace will do just fine. It’s intellectual, chilling, and disturbing.
Snore Factor: ZZZ