Is there something intrinsically scary about babies? Harbingers of death and doom, beacons for the supernatural instilled with sensors for evil. No I don’t like babies at all; children even, but rarely are we given cause to fear to child as oppose the evil it attracts; well that was until Grace.
Grace felt immediately familiar when I first started watching it and I’m not sure why. I was not perturbed by this, rather soldiered on, gradually being turned off by the main character Madeline Matheson’s (Jordan Ladd) determination to impose her iron clad beliefs on everyone else and the constant negativity aimed towards the doctors and hospital staff when she visits after the death of her husband and unborn child in a car accident. Madeline, who had abandoned traditional medicine at the start of her pregnancy, is determined to bring the baby to term and does so at a special clinic run by Patricia Lang (Samantha Ferris), former mentor and lover. As expected the baby is stillborn and the distraught staff watch in horror at her refusal to accept the baby’s fate. However, in an unexpected the twist the baby miraculously returns to life. Elated at first Madeline soon discovers that her little bundle of joy isn’t all that it seems and she must go to increasingly extreme lengths to sate the baby’s hunger… for blood.
Now I know it sounds pretty ludicrous to begin with but this movie is actually pretty damn good; erratic, but good. As the story started to progress it went from something that I expected to steadily spiral into outrageousness (and it does to a degree) to an extremely interesting insight into loss and its effect on people; particularly mothers. While Madeline, who is a strict vegan, is struggling with her babies increasing blood lust her late husbands mother Vivian is also dealing with the loss of her son which manifests itself in some rather alarming and disturbing ways. It eventually results in a tremendous clash between the two women with dire consequences. At times the film is actually extremely saddening and tragic, watching these women cling onto tattered shreds of hope rather than face the grim reality that hangs over them.
The film ultimately loses its way at the end and becomes a cringy Thelma and Louise cut out, but the mid-section makes it worth shot alone. It’s a shame the whole of the film couldn’t live up to its potential.
Video sourced from Youtube.