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Grace Paul Solet

Cult Movies movie directed by Paul Solet

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It's Creepy And Campy

  • Nov 10, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+1
Writer/director Paul Solet serves up a heaping helping of creepiness in his 2009 chiller, "Grace," but an unintended camp factor prevents me from taking it too seriously. The film opens with a young couple, the Mathesons, successfully conceiving a child. It's been a hard road for the pair in their attempts to become pregnant, but this time around they are successful. Michael (Stephen Park), has grudgingly compromised with his wife, Madeline (Jordan Ladd), on having a midwife deliver the child for them.

Michael's parents disagree with the use of a midwife and demand that Madeline at least see the family doctor to have her and the baby's health checked on. Madeline steadfastly refuses to use the doctor and creates quite a divide between herself and her mother-in-law (Gabrielle Rose). The midwife, meanwhile, also has a history with Madeline, but I won't reveal what that happens to be.

As Madeline comes closer to term, there is an auto accident that kills Michael and seemingly terminates Madeline's unborn child as well. Madeline insists on delivering the baby and despite the suggestions of the midwife, she successfully delivers a stillborn baby......or that's what you might think.

Somehow, Madeline "wills" her dead baby back to life and names her Grace. From this point on, the film takes on a very creepy (and dull) tone as Madeline soon discovers that little Grace doesn't want milk. She wants blood, and lots of it.

Meanwhile, Madeline's mother-in-law, Vivian, is having trouble dealing with the loss of her son and feels that Madeline is a poor mother to young Grace. She takes a number of steps (a few of them bizarre) in order to steal Grace away from Madeline. This is where the film really becomes unhinged and also where I started struggling to finish it.

Solet attempts to keep a serious tone throughout the film, and actually does a fine job of creating an air of creepiness. However, the fact that we are having to deal with an "undead" baby is actually quite hokey and rather boring. The idea really has a lot of potential, but Solet's intent on keeping this film serious flatlines the story. The child has to completely depend on its mother (just like a normal baby), and we witness a hardcore vegan spiral out of control and become a murderous mother. Yep, you heard that right, a vegan becomes flush with bloodlust in the film. I can see where Solet is trying to get the idea across that a mother will do anything for her child, but a crazed vegan tracking down blood for her baby comes across as a bit too goofy for my tastes.

Had Solet turned this film into a cheesy horror flick, I believe the results would have been much better. Granted, he probably wouldn't have received all the "praise" from Sundance, but his movie definitely would have been more enjoyable.

Mentioning Sundance, supposedly a couple of audience members actually fainted during a showing of this movie at the film festival. This is well documented and heavily impressed upon the viewer in one of the many documentaries provided on the DVD. Perhaps it was the heat in the building or maybe they had low blood sugar, but I found nothing "faint-tastic" about "Grace."

As far as the DVD extras are concerned, there are a number of documentaries (from conception to delivery, literally) that are actually kind of fun to watch. There is also running commentary available for fans of such things.

Overall, "Grace" could have been a whole lot better had Solet either dropped the serious tone of the film and embraced the campfest he had on his hands or played with the plot a bit more in order to remove the campy quality of the film. The cast all do a pretty good job, and Jordan Ladd is very convincing as little Grace's mother. For her performance and the creepy tone of the film, I give "Grace" three stars. I recommend it as a rental.

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More Grace reviews
review by . March 01, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****      A baby's cry - no, a baby's scream - is quite possibly one of the most annoying sounds known to mankind; this is something that both writer-director Paul Solet and his debut feature "Grace" know very well. In a cinematic legacy of children from hell and toddlers from beyond the grave; here's an artful horror flick where the child is not from hell, nor is it undead. No, it's a normal baby; just with some ugly, gruesome peculiarities. …
review by . September 22, 2009
DVD
            I’ve been real disappointed with American horror the last few years. Most of them have cheapened their style in utilizing elaborate special effects, a weak storyline, remakes and beautiful people. I wasn’t expecting much with writer/director Paul Solet’s “Grace”, and surprisingly, it proved to be an overpowering horror film. It would be easy to dismiss the film as another “It’s Alive” rip off or just …
review by . October 12, 2009
'Grace' is a good horror film. It has raw horror combined with a psychological component that makes this movie intensely creepy and engulfing.     The movie follows the tragedy of a mother that has to carry her stillborn baby to term. But, when the baby is born, it is alive. And I mean `it' and not `she', because there is something seriously wrong with baby Grace, she does not want her mother's milk, she wants her mother's blood.     At first, I truly doubted …
review by . October 07, 2009
While more subdued and slower-paced than the shocking short, this feature-length Grace still packs a punch. The woman-centric issues of pregnancy and self-sacrificing motherhood are rarely featured in horror, so it's nice to see these addressed. The bond between a mother and child are strong, so like Madeline, I'm willing to bet you would sacrifice everything and anything for them. Madeline breaks her own ethical beliefs to ensure that Grace gets what she hungers for...blood...and is prepared to …
review by . October 05, 2009
Doesn't the following sound like a great idea for a horror movie; a pregnant woman with three weeks left in her pregnancy is in an auto accident. This auto accident produces a tragic outcome, her baby is killed. The mother is obviously devastated, but decides to carry out the rest of her pregnancy and give natural birth; despite the fact the mother (to be) knows the child will be stillborn. However, when the child is born, she is alive and appears rather ghoulish.    I felt like …
review by . September 08, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
"Grace"    Motherhood    Amos Lassen    I am not a fan of horror movies but "Grace" really made me think about the genre. This is a movie that is not easy to forget and it is an emotional and psychological thriller as well as a trip into terror. Madeline (Jordan Ladd) and Michael Matheson (Stephen Park) have been trying to have a child for a long time. Now they are about to become parents but soon before delivery, a terrible accident kills …
About the reviewer
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #11
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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Director: Paul Solet
DVD Release Date: September 15, 2009
Runtime: 84 minutes
Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
First to Review

"Motherhood"
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