Tall, Dark, and Dead – 80 – Grace
Director: Paul Solet
Leads: Jordan Ladd, Samantha Ferris, Gabrielle Rose
Favorite quote: “Please, you don’t understand. She’s special. She needs…special food.”
Thoughts: I WIN.
Every horror buff knows what I WIN means. It means that you were able to stomach a movie that made a friend or relative sick. It means you were able to sit through a movie that someone else had to get up and physically abandon. It means that you are triumphant, gloriously alive…ALIVE!
The Silverback Nerd – my mom – hated Grace. She’d practically shriveled into a little ball of visceral disgust by the end of it. Meanwhile, I was enjoying my hummus and pita chips and taking notes – because I think that Grace is the first serious child zombie movie I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. It was excellent.
What struck me most was how effectively the filmmakers infused the film with an aura of quiet, impending doom – less an unfolding of horrific events than a slow unraveling of the fabric of reality. Grace, much-wanted child that she is, nevertheless compounds her brokenhearted mother’s sense of isolation and worldly detachment. As the baby becomes more and more horrific, and consequently more and more demanding, she forces her mother – not necessarily by violence, but through love – to give more and more of herself. Physically, emotionally, mentally. In the end her mother even renounces her long-held ethical beliefs – hell, she commits murder. Anything to keep the ailing child “alive.”
At the conclusion of the film, Grace is transitioning from blood to her mother’s flesh, and still Madeline is unwilling to let her go. I can think of no greater metaphor for motherly devotion. And I greatly respect how the baby was presented – not as an evil, inhuman creature, not as the spawn of Satan, but as an innocent, dead child who just wants her mommy.
Aaaand, on that note…have I mentioned that I never want children? Ever? Just thought I’d throw that out there.