In a genre flooded by outlandish, disconnected and often comedic pictures, GRACE acts as a definitive reminder that good old fashion storytelling can still be frightening and unbelievably unsettling. Like other films of milar nature (such as the highly acclaimed 2007 Dimenon Extreme gem INDE), GRACE is a disheartening venture into the life of a mother torn apart both phycally and mentally by an unbridled need to protect her child. It’s the specifics of the harrowing tale that separate the film from any I’ve ever seen however.
After a car collion leaves Michael (Stephen Park), and Grace Matheson - Michael’s wife, Madeline’s (played by genre veteran Jordan Ladd who has appeared in the likes of DEATH PROOF, HOSTEL II, and CABIN FEVER to name a few) unborn child dead in the womb, life becomes a world of darkness and depreson. Extremely distraught and completely irrational, Madeline insts upon carrying Grace full term, dead or alive. Upon giving birth to the lifeless Grace, something remarkably strange occurs: Grace mysteriously… reanimates, coming to life in Madeline’s arms. But this is no miracle. And if it is, it’s the kind no sane individual ever wishes for.
Madeline immediately discovers (in painful fashion) that Grace bears some unusual traits for a newborn. For starters, she’s got a taste for blood. Toss in that deathly odor, an abundance of hovering flies and you can start to form a rational theory as to what the hell is wrong with Grace. Madeline seems to put the pieces together for herself, but desperation and loneliness has left her traveling a fractured train of thought. Rather than doing the right thing (I guess she already blew that when she decided to carry her dead offspring to term) and contacting phycians, Madeline caters to Grace’s unorthodox eating requirements. It’s obviously safe to assume that this is an extremely unsafe practice, and the results of such behavior are life threatening to all parties involved.
While Madeline’s health spirals out of control, Michael’s mother Vivian (Gabrielle Rose), who’s been an intruve bitch (for lack of a better term) throughout the course of Michael and Madeline’s marriage attempts take custody of the child, whom Madeline has prevented her from seeing (with good reason) nce birth. Of course, Madeline isn’t about to let Vivian, or anyone else take Grace anywhere. Those who attempt to separate the two face a rash, homicidal mother, and a likely trip into premature afterlife. But no worries, those bodies won’t go to waste.
I’ve got to say, GRACE is one of the biggest surprises to be released in 2009. I picked up the film anticipating an eerie drama with a slight BASKET CASE twist. I got so, so much more - which says a lot condering how highly I think of BASKET CASE (don't judge me). GRACE is in truth one of the more haunting character driven films I’ve ever seen. The connection between Madeline and her child is executed with brilliance; Paul Solet (who did an incredible job of writing and directing the picture) crafts a near-flawless script (of course some suspenon of disbelief is required here), and guide’s the incredibly underrated Jordan Ladd through a believable and ckening journey of motherhood. Some of the visuals, though fairly tame by today’s standards are decively chilling, and powerful enough to truly resonate in viewers' minds.
If you’re looking to invest an hour and a half in anything horror, make it GRACE. It’s frightening, it’s saddening, it’s absolutely disgusting, it‘s so many things die hard horror hounds crave daily. If you’re anything like me, it’s also likely to make the thought of a glass of milk downright nauseating.
Damn you Paul Solet - I loved milk!
The DVD is packed with all kinds of cool little featurettes that document everything from the film’s creation to the film’s release. Paul Solet and other crew members shed light on an assortment of cool topics pertinent to the film, and it’s refreshing to get to know those involved and their thoughts a bit better. We’re also treated to a dub of interesting audio commentary from Paul Solet, producer Adam Green and director of photography Zoran Popovic; a trailer, a behind the scenes look at the creation of GRACE’s score, and for those who appreciate technologically interactive media, you can pop the DVD in your DVD-ROM and check out the film script in PDF format. All in all, an excellent package!