GRACE, which came out a few years ago to a lot of buzz and much praise from the horror community. I saw it when it came out and those of you who have been with me for a while know that I wasn't particularly fond of it at the time, and a lot of that had to do with hype and expectations, which can be my worst enemies when it comes to watching newer movies. Even though I didn't necessarily think highly of it at the time, I didn't think it was a bad movie. A tad overrated, yes, but not bad. Part of why it was disappointing to me back then had to do with all these things I'd heard about the film being gross and making people faint at screenings. The film's director, Paul Solet, was even proud of the fact that people were passing out at the sight of whatever shocking images were shown on screen. I don't blame him; I'd be proud of that too, especially if it was my first film as a director. The thing is, if you're gonna go around boasting about this, your movie better bring it. Well, I watched GRACE with all of that in mind, and it brought very little in terms of being shocking. I'm not a tough guy or super jaded when it comes to gore by any means. There's still a lot that makes me cringe and I'm a wuss when it comes to trauma on certain parts of the human body, but when I first saw this movie, I couldn't help but wonder what pussies saw this movie at its initial screenings and passed out. Just sayin'.
Without revealing too much, I'll just say that the character of Madeline's mother-in-law is fascinating thanks to how she's developed throughout the movie and, of course, how she's played by actress Gabrielle Rose. It wasn't long after she first spoke in the film that I wanted to punch her in the face, and throughout the movie she's essentially dissected in a way that reveals a truly twisted woman who you can almost sympathize with because of how obviously troubled she is. Whether you like her or not, there's so much depth to her character, which is something I really appreciated this time around. If Paul Solet wanted to, he could have easily made a companion piece to this film that shows everything from her perspective; it obviously would have been more psychological and not have had the same gory pay-offs, but it would've been interesting.
Something else that was noticeable this time around was how much the movie tries to beat the Vegan lifestyle over your head. I don't even remember this aspect of the film, which is strange considering it's anything but subtle. Initially I wondered why this was in the movie and to the extent that it was (Madeline literally watches those PETA propaganda videos of animals being slaughtered as if she were watching daytime television), but it all makes sense as the film progresses. I don't know what Paul Solet's diet consists of, but the relieving thing about the Vegan angle here is that it can either be interpreted as pro or anti-Vegan because of certain things that occur in the movie. Personally, I have Vegan friends and I enjoy Vegan cuisine from time to time, but I can't fucking stand it when people are preachy about it, or anything else for that matter
IT'S ALIVE is as bad as everyone says it is. In fact, it's worse than I expected. I'm pretty forgiving with bad movies, just as long as it brings something to the table. If a movie is poorly-acted and poorly-written but at least has some good gore or decent music, that's something. Well, this remake of a film originally written and directed by Larry Cohen unfortunately falls short in pretty much every area that matters.
The story presented in this film is very similar to the one told in GRACE. A young woman (Lenora, played by Bijou Phillips) gives birth to a baby that's essentially a monster. In the case of this movie, however, the baby being a monster is a bit more literal. It rapidly grows inside its mother's womb, and it gets to the point where it has to be taken out of Lenora three months before she's due to give birth. And even when it's at home and developing, the baby displays qualities that are much more advanced than other babies its age. For most parents, a child with advanced development would be a blessing, but in this case it's a curse. If people are around the baby and neither of its parents are paying attention, those people will turn up dead. And not just dead, but dead as fuck. Blood splattered all over the place, limbs everywhere, bodies torn to shreds. At first, no one other than Lenora catches on to this, and so she basically acts as an accomplice to her infant son and does her best to hide the bodies and erase any evidence of the deaths.