Monday, December 13, 2010

Review: Grace

Dir. Paul Solet, 2009, Madman Entertainment

While eight months pregnant, Madeline's dream of motherhood becomes a nightmare when an horrific car accident leaves both her husband and her unborn child dead. Refusing to acknowledge the tragedy, Madeline brings the child to term - only to discover that, impossibly, baby Grace has survived. But is it truly a miracle, or something rather more sinister? For Grace is a strange child, with unthinkable needs. And baby needs to feed...

Grace is one of those utterly uncompromising horror movies - and I can think of few other movies that so absolutely deserve the epithet of 'horror' - that begins immediately with the more mundane horrors of strained spousal and stifling familial relationships before graduating to the truly awful horror of the death of a child, and onwards to the supernatural horrors at the centre of the plot. The script is tight and almost unbearably tense throughout; the cast performances are all excellent and masterfully understated; production values are superb.

There's likely to be some argument amongst fans of the walking dead as to whether Grace is truly a zombie movie; to my mind, though, any film revolving around a dead (and apparently decaying) child who requires blood (and more) to survive certainly qualifies.

In a nutshell, Grace is one of the most genuinely horrific and emotionally upsetting pieces of cinematic horror I've ever seen, and one likely to become regarded as a minor masterpiece by those who appreciate style and substance over in-your-face scares and gore.

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