Since I’ve started attending Sundance, I’ve rumors about the films in the ‘Park City at Midnight’ categories. Rumors of Asian movies that have people eating soup made out of fetuses, or about women with teeth in their vaginas. I try to see a couple movies in this category each year. Sometimes it pays off like when I saw The Descent. Some years it doesn’t. Like when I saw Subject Two (never, ever watch that movie, even though that douche bag from Variety liked it). I’m not sure if it paid off this year, but what I do know, is I finally saw one of those films that just went too far. And I kind of liked it.
Grace is the story about a women named Madeline (Jordan Ladd, whom you may recognize from Grindhouse or Hostel 2). She’s miscarried twice, and is finally almost to full term. She has a happy married (despite an evil, over-powering mother-in-law) and is thrilled to finally have a child. She insists on a natural birth with a mid-wife. A car accident kills her husband, and the baby. Madeline insists on carrying the baby full term, and still giving birth. Once the baby is stillborn, she wills it back to life. It quickly becomes apparent there is something very wrong.
Yes, it doesn’t sound like much, but believe me, it’s effed up. Real effed up. The story was written and directed by Paul Solet, who very clearly has some mommy issues. When he spends his time devoted to the buildup of suspense, that’s when the movie shines. It’s when he focuses on the gross-out factor that the film loses itself. Although I didn’t recognize Jordan Ladd, she was clearly comfortable in the role, and plays it well. Too well sometimes. Actress Gabrielle Rose (age 55) plays Madeline’s mother-in-law, and I’ll honestly tell you that I was shocked at what she was willing to do on camera. The film was made pretty well. I can’t imagine it won’t be picked up by Fox Atomic or some other like-minded studio. If they plan a theatrical release, they’ll be forced to do some editing. Well, a lot of editing, if they want an R rating. But I’m guessing this will be a straight-to-DVD sort of things where it will be ‘UNRATED!!!!’ The buzz around Solet is that he’s a filmmaker to watch. And it was clear he knew what he was doing most of the time. It’s about time someone came along to dethrone Eli Roth. If you can get past the…well…the story, the misogyny, the baby that does unspeakable things, then you might enjoy this.