Friday, December 1, 2006

Grace (2006)

Imagine losing your unborn child. Now, imagine having to carry that dead, unborn child to term. Upon giving birth to your dead, decomposing baby, a miracle happens and your baby comes back to life…but things just aren’t right with your child. This is the premise of Grace, a stunning, clever and grown-up horror film by Paul Solet...

Madeline (Lisa Weil) is eight months pregnant and is determined to protect her unborn child at all costs. On a car ride with her husband, she refuses to have any more ultrasounds done because it might harm the baby. She also is adamant about having a natural birth. Her husband (Brian Austin Green, of 90210 fame) disagrees and insists that she get proper care at a real hospital. Suddenly, they crash head-on with another car. When Madeline awakes, she finds Brian and her unborn child dead. Madeline carries the baby to term, goes through a natural birth and gives birth to a dead baby. Still, she holds the decomposing baby, cooing and talking to it, telling her how much she loves her. When the midwife comes in to take the dead baby away, she finds Madeline nursing a very baby that is very much alive...A baby that Madeline names Grace.

Original, creepy and intelligent with vivid imagery, Grace succeeds on many levels. What woman hasn’t worried about becoming pregnant, losing her unborn child or having an abnormal birth? All these nightmares come rolled into one in Grace. I find it completely refreshing that Solet has chosen to focus on something from a woman’s point of view while still being able to freak out the males in the audience.

Shot on 35mm film (rare for short films), the movie looks great and has a professional quality. It has some really great scenes and sequences, especially the birthing scene. This scene is pretty nasty but not overly so, it just feels very realistic. Liza Weil (most recognizable from Gilmore Girls) puts on a great performance as a mother with an undying love for her child. She plays protective, heartbroken and loving with ease. I’ve never been pregnant, but I could easily relate to how she was feeling and what she was going through.

Solet does a great job setting up the story in a short amount of time. We get all we need to know about how Madeline and her husband feel about the pregnancy within the first few minutes and the story takes off from there. The story itself is extremely original and I’ve never seen anything like it before. It is a truly horrifying premise, one that hits close to home for many women. Solet plans on turning Grace into a feature-length film, and I can’t wait to see it.

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