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Grace Paul Solet

Cult Movies movie directed by Paul Solet

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A parent's worst nightmare.

  • Mar 1, 2012
*** 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. That is what makes it a horror film in the first place; because a baby is a baby, but a baby that vomits blood and loses all its hair at the mere gentle touch of a brush is something else, and signifies a young child that might break instead of bounce if one were to drop it.

The parent of this child is Madeline (Jordan Ladd). She's tried getting pregnant a few times, but one time while she is engaged in sexual intercourse with her husband Michael, things seem to work out for once. A few seconds later and bang, Madeline is pregnant, and she's living the vegan life. Michael's mother Vivian (Gabrielle Rose) does not approve of the foods that Madeline is indulging in; nor does she approve in her choice of doctors. Instead, she recommends one that she trusts quite a bit; only to have her suggestions rejected by both members of the couple. Their choice is to go to a birthing clinic; where they meet the kindly woman who runs it, Dr. Patricia Lang (Samantha Ferris). They seem to like her; and she seems to like them. But that won't get the baby born. It's only a matter of time now.

Indeed, it is. Madeline suddenly feels increasing pain in her chest area one night, and has to be rushed to the hospital shortly thereafter. It is there that Patricia prevents the doctors from beginning the labor process; as they intended to. So Michael and Madeline drive home the next night, their child still with them. But then, a fatal car crash changes everything; killing Michael, killing the baby, and leaving Madeline alive. It is then that she refers to Patricia and the clinic for further help; delivering her unborn child and miraculously nursing it (her) back to health, and naming the child Grace.

Was it a miracle - a blessing - or was it a bad omen for things to come? The child seems pretty alright at first; although it doesn't take much time for the strange stuff to start happening. The flies seem to like it around the baby's crib, and the kid doesn't appear to want to drink her milk. At least not from the bottle. She'll take it from mommy's breast; but then again, it's soon revealed that what she's taking in is not milk at all, but rather blood, and it would certainly appear that this is her preferred beverage, contrary to the conventional baby foods and needs. So it's kind of like "Hellraiser", but with a screaming baby. A screaming baby that upchucks half the blood that it absorbs, develops odd and painful looking rashes all around its little body, and looks consistently sick enough to die just about any minute. But then again, Madeline doesn't look much better either.

That makes sense, though; she's succumbed to depression. She's just lost her husband, and his mother won't get off her back about the baby and other unnecessary bullshit, and the baby is a loud and prevalent whiner. If "Grace" can't create great and memorable characters; it can certainly create a situation that's real and unnerving enough for us to sympathize for what they're being forced to endure. The film shifts rather abruptly from a sweet little mother-daughter relationship to a disturbing infectious horror-thriller in what feels like a blink of an eye. That probably won't sit well with a lot of people, but if you're looking for a genre picture that's a little less conventional than the rest, I think this will do. It's different, it's disturbing and best of all, it's believable. The acting is solid enough, and the direction was taut enough, for me to buy into the situation and its many horrors. There isn't necessarily a hint of greatness at any point in the movie; but if Solet can make stuff like cat food disgusting and distressing, I'd say he's a new-found talent.

I understand why the film will be criticized by a lot of people. If you do not care about the characters, then you cannot care about their problems; that is an age-old theory, and let's not treat "Grace" as if it's any exception, because it's not. I admired the film because it has a simple aim - to make the audience feel uncomfortable and disturbed - and in my mind, that's just what it does. As an avid horror fan, I was quite surprised by how down-right nasty and gross some of the scenes were; particularly a few that came around near the end. Now, that isn't always a compliment; but it is in this case. "Grace" is by no means an entertaining film, but it is one that I just couldn't look away from; I blame the damn baby screams.

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March 05, 2012
This was good. I am impressed that you saw several things that I didn't see. It was great that it made motherhood so horrific.
More Grace reviews
review by . September 22, 2009
            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 . November 10, 2009
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 …
review by . October 04, 2009
Grace is about a thirty something Madeline who's married to some schlub named Michael,  They have been trying to have a baby for sometime.  Mike's mother Vivian wants to make sure Madeline has the kid in a hospital but she wants to have a midwife named Patricia (her old lover) deliver it.  But before any of their plans transpire, a freak car accident leaves Mike dead and Maddy her unborn child in some serious trouble.  A few days later her water (er red Flavor Aid) breaks and …
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 …
Quick Tip by . October 01, 2009
There's Horror and then there's being uncomfortable, this movie is sick and disturbing. Whoever wrote it has issues. Full review coming!
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
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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Director: Paul Solet
DVD Release Date: September 15, 2009
Runtime: 84 minutes
Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
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