Paul Solet, “Grace” (2009).

Oct 02 2010 Published by Benito Vergara under review


Grace seems, at times, to be a cruel little film, but it’s probably one of the best horror movies I’ve seen in quite some time, its abysmal 4.5 rating on IMDB notwithstanding. The blurb (from USA Today, certainly more trustworthy than myself) compares Paul Solet’s film to “a Stephen King tale,” in contrast to a “splatter-fest horror flick,” but that’s accurate only to the extent that King has long flirted with, and succumbed to, the idea of placing children in mortal danger. In Grace, the aforementioned peril also involves the child’s pregnant mother, Madeline Matheson (played by a good Jordan Ladd), who is determined to deliver her baby through natural childbirth. I don’t really want to reveal too many details about the movie, except to write that things go very wrong, and the grieving mother makes what seems like an indefensible decision, but the screenplay is finely engineered enough so that her choice, and a subsequent miraculous plot twist, are, by horror-movie logic, utterly believable. Yes, you more or less see where the film is going after the first half hour is over, but that’s the joy of it. There’s nothing like anticipation to make you squirm.

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