Thursday, December 30, 2010

Grace-review with spoilers

I hear that this 2009 movie is based off the 2006 short film that was used as a way of funding the feature length version.  If so I don’t know what the hell they were thinking.  The idea of a strange killer newborn baby is just beyond stupid.  The only way you can make a killer MORE reliant on you than to make it an infant is to make it a quadriplegic with a breathing tube.  This movie leaves you with way more questions than answers.

​  So it starts off with the star Jordan Ladd as Madeline enjoying some of the most joyless sex imaginable.  She looks more like she is more concerned with painting the ceiling then enjoying things.  Meanwhile Michael, her husband is totally clueless to her lack of interest.  Either way this one works because it puts a bun in her oven.  At least we can see this kid was conceived in the hot winds of passion.

​Michael’s parents come over for dinner.  His mother is a real pain in the ass who passive aggressively tells Madeline her food sucks by saying perhaps a more conventional diet would be appropriate.  This is really nice since Madeline is vegan and clearly by this time the mother-in-law should have gotten used to this fact by now.  She also narrowly avoids a fork in her eye when she starts a fight when Madeline says she wants to see a midwife rather than go to a hospital.

​Michael is skeptical about the midwife himself but the place they go to is not some teepee with herbal teas to sooth the pains and a caldron to make a fine soup out of the placenta.  No. It’s a nice facility with a large birthing pool.  Michael still takes the opportunity to be an unsupportive dick though.  He jumps down the throat of the woman there for not having any degrees up until she explains to him that she is a fully accredited medical doctor and she doesn’t put up degrees because she doesn’t want the place to appear clinical.  It’s like he expects her to wave a bone over her wife to deliver the child. Good lord.

​Madeline does revel that they had two pregnancies before that were not successful. So I guess adoption was just out of the picture.  Oh, what do I know?  One night Madeline has chest pains so she goes to the hospital.  Before the doctors can induce labor Patricia the midwife arrives to challenge their diagnosis.  Apparently the other doctors never thought to do blood work before inducing pregnancy and so they actually narrowly avoid losing their license to practice medicine by listening to her.

​Madeline is retreated and recovers I guess because they let her out. But on the way home from the hospital a car accident kills Michael and the unborn baby.  Madeline refuses to go to hospital to have the dead fetus removed. Patricia allows her to carry the dead fetus to term and give birth in her pool.  When she does she asks to hold her stillborn child.  She does for a bit pleading with it to live.  Patricia eventually comes to tell her she can’t will the dead back to life only to find that the baby is now alive.

​Madeline calls her Grace.  Patricia comes over one day to bring a present, suggest she go to a hospital and come on to Madeline saying a line to make it obvious that they had a romantic past.  Wow, I wonder if close-minded Michael knew she wanted to use a former same sex lover as her midwife.  That is really awkward movie.  Thanks.  Patricia doesn’t like the rejection and leaves feeling down.  Madeline refuses to go to the hospital after the induction debacle she is afraid something bad like that might happen again.

​Now alone and caring for Grace, Madeline notices Grace attracts a lot of flies.  Clearly because she summoned Beelzebub, Lord of Flies. Well it’s a good enough explanation. And you’ll never get one so enjoy it.  She hangs a fly strip in the nursery, which I always think ads a certain level of a class to any house. When trying to bath Grace her skin starts to bleed in the water.  She tries to contact Patricia but Patricia’s jealous girlfriend answers and won’t pass along the message.  Being a dumbass she still won’t contact the hospital or find another doctor.  Even when she finds out Grace is vomiting and not able to digest breast milk.

​Meanwhile mother-in-law is using nasty tricks and shenanigans to attempt to gain custody of the child for herself.  She wants to prove Madeline is unfit with the help of a Doctor friend of hers.  Madeline discovers Grace is feeding is causing her breasts to bleed.  She isn’t drinking the milk but the blood.  She goes out and buys a bunch of meat.  Drains it of blood and bottles it for Grace.  Grace seems to accept it.  While disposing of the leftover meat Grace becomes very sick and Madeline is forced to breast feed again.

​The Mother-in-law’s doctor arrives and see’s the state of Madeline.  She is too weak to not invite him in.  He find out she is very anemic.  Eventually he hears Grace’s cry and goes to check on her but Madeline snaps and smashes the back of his head.  She drags him to the bathroom and begins draining his blood into a baby bottle. She drops it on the floor as her harpy of a Mother-in-law arrives to check on them.

​At first she sounds like she will stay downstairs but she begins to wander.  She finds the broken blood bottle and the dead doctor’s body. So she arms herself with a hammer and grabs the baby to leave.  Madeline sees this and confronts her.  Meanwhile Patricia has found out that her girlfriend has been lying to her about the messages and is now almost to the house to find out what is up herself.  Mother-in-law whacks Madeline a few times knocking her down.  She comes closer to look down at her and gets her neck bitten out by Madeline.

​The next scene just shows Patricia in the worst blond wig this side of a drag show.  She pulls over the RV she is driving to check on Madeline who is also wearing a ridiculous wig.  She says that the tests confirm Grace is healthy as long as Madeline keeps the proper diet they can continue feeding and raising Grace.  Problem is she is growing.  Madeline raises her shirt to reveal chunks torn out of her breast, and she is teething.

​This movie might have been sort of cool if it answered questions.  What the hell is Grace?  Why is she the way she is?  Was a deal made with a horrid demonic entity to spawn this creature?  Why tack on a needless romance between Patricia and Madeline? If you want to give them that back story Why not say that Patricia’s unrequited love for Madeline was rekindled upon seeing her in the beginning and then when she loses the baby she makes a deal with the devil for Madeline to get her baby.  That way Madeline is confused as to the why things are happening and yet her love of Grace and the fact that most parents will go through hell for their children might draw her back to Patricia in the end for making that deal in the long run even if it did produce a maddening abomination.

​I don’t know when I see a movie like this that tells me it’s a feature length movie based on a short film you can really feel the padding.  It feels like when they want to stretch a short story needlessly.  Some short stories are great the way they are but that is what this felt like; a film adaptation of a short story with padding and not the feature length movie it could have been given the material.

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