Written & Directed by Paul Solet
Madeline Matheson...Jordan Ladd
Michael Matheson...Stephen Park
Vivian Matheson...Gabrielle Rose
Patricia Lang...Samantha Ferris
*Warning: If you haven't seen Grace yet, but intend to, I strongly urge you to rush out and do so before you read any further. While I'm fairly certain that there are no blatant spoilers contained within my review--at least no more than you will see elsewhere--discovering the subtle nuances of this film on your own is highly recommended.*
Madeline Matheson is one of those dedicated Earth Mothers--vegan, holistic, etc.--one of those people who would view my lifestyle full of red meat, nicotine, processed sugars and foodstuffs as an affront to all that is holy. She and her husband Michael are a young married couple attempting to get their family off the ground. They've already lost two children in utero, so when the third pregnancy comes along--and this time it seems healthy--it's just this side shy of a miracle. But then a freak accident in which an air bag actually causes a collision leaves Madeline all alone in this world, in one fell swoop killing her husband and her unborn child.
For reasons known only to her, Madeline opts not to induce labor but to carry the deceased baby to term. When the time comes to deliver, that fantastic event that was her healthy pregnancy then gets sidelined by a genuine, certified and authenticated miracle.
Her child, baby Grace, is born alive.
Initial tests show that Grace is fine and normal, but Madeline gradually learns the horrible truth: the devil is just as capable of miracles as God. Baby Grace's thirst for life-giving bodily fluids goes far, far beyond mother's milk.
Grace is one of those movies that actually deserves an audience but never found one in its limited theatrical run because the studio probably didn't know how to market it. So, they didn't really market it at all. I've never once seen an ad for this film, and wouldn't have even known of its existence if not for my fellow horror bloggers. It became the subject of a nearly homegrown viral campaign, and with the positive reviews from respected members of the BHS (Blogger Horror Society) such as Freddy in Space, I Like Horror Movies, and Horror Movie A Day, I knew I had to see it.
And boy, am I glad that I did.
True, it's not a balls-out horror film. It's not hyper-violent and it doesn't unfold at a machine gun pace. It's a very personal horror, and it takes its time reaching a culmination, choosing for the low-key creep out that stays with you as opposed to the high-octane shock that wears off all too soon. It's a deeply unsettling film--the sight of a woman cradling a dead newborn and pleading with it to return to life can't help but be unsettling. But what's more, it has a macabre beauty to it that hasn't been seen since Lucky McKee unleashed May upon the unsuspecting populace.
I know that others have covered Grace before me, and many will cover Grace after, and many of them are bound to refer to it as something akin to Larry Cohen's It's Alive for the sophisticate. And while that's a perfectly apt comparison, it's also a little too easy. You, my devoted readers, have come here for the straight dope, something that I offer to you for free right now...but as soon as you're hooked, I very well might jack up the price.
So here it is: Grace is Little Shop of Horrors.
With a vagina for the flowerpot.
SEE THIS MOVIE!