HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
1917
Tree House, The
Sputnik
Seducao da Carne
Yes, God, Yes
Five Graves to Cairo
You've Been Trumped Too
Woman in Black, The
Elvis: That's the Way It Is
Man Who Laughs, The
Watch List
Giraffe
Kat and the Band
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
   
 
Newest Articles
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
   
 
  Bless the Child She's not the messiah, she's a very naughty girl
Year: 2000
Director: Chuck Russell
Stars: Kim Basinger, Jimmy Smits, Holliston Coleman, Rufus Sewell, Angela Bettis, Christina Ricci, Michael Gaston, Lumi Cavazos, Dimitra Arliss, Eugene Lipinski, Anne Betancourt, Ian Holm, Helen Stenborg
Genre: Horror, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: On a night when the Star of Yacov shines in the sky over New York, reappearing for the first time since Bethlehem two-thousand years ago, drug addict Jenna (Angela Bettis) dumps her newly-born infant on big sister Maggie (Kim Basinger) and disappears. Having always longed for a child, Maggie raises the baby girl as her own. Six years later, the supposedly autistic, young Cody (Holliston Coleman) hears voices in her head and, whilst attending a Catholic-run special school, displays other unorthodox talents when she makes candles burn and brings a dead bird back to life.

Meanwhile, a sinister cult are kidnapping and murdering children off the streets and seminary student-turned F.B.I. Agent John Travis (Jimmy Smits) is assigned to the case. When Jenna reappears with her new husband, charismatic cult leader Eric Stark (Rufus Sewell) and takes Cody into their custody, Maggie and Agent Travis are drawn into an apocalyptic conflict between good and evil. Humanity’s fate rests with one special child.

Devil movies and the whole Antichrist genre made a comeback around the turn of the millennium, with the likes of Stigmata (1999), Lost Souls (2000) and End of Days (1999) struggling to out-spook each other with doomsday prophecies and satanic goings on. Adapted from a novel by Cathy Cash Spellman, Bless the Child offers an initially promising flipside to The Omen (1976). Instead of the son of Satan, we have a young female messiah and whereas The Omen series is somewhat theologically one-sided, this at least tries to work up some metaphysical discourse on the nature of good and evil. Sadly, the film is slow-paced and self-important, while director Chuck Russell fails to propel the action with enough pulp horror verve.

The film has essentially two plot strands. The first is a TV movie-of-the-week dressed up with supernatural frills. Basinger delivers an overly solemn performance as the single mother trying to take back her stolen child. The second, more interesting strand reworks Satan’s testing of Christ in the wilderness, proceeding as a series of trials that prepares Cody to become the new messiah. Avoiding outright cruelty, since a corrupted messiah is more valuable than a dead one, Stark challenges Cody’s faith by seeing whether God can prevent a homeless man committing suicide, or making her jump from a ledge. There are interesting questions posed, but the script opts for easy answers and one wishes Hammer made this film twenty years ago, which might have delivered the biblically-inclined morality with more conviction and poetry.

Still, it’s nice to see a level playing field. While The Omen films are skewed towards having Christians thrown to the lions (or rather sliced, diced and decapitated), this has the requisite gory killings and satanic minions including some silly teenage Goths, CG demons and a devil nanny (another nod to The Omen) with lethal knitting needles, but also angelic helpers aiding Maggie and Travis along the way. Ian Holm cameos as a renegade priest who observes the concept of evil has become politically incorrect, but Christina Ricci is shamefully wasted as a former cultist-turned-informer who exists solely to provide what you might call “the big David Warner” moment.

Action-wise, the film picks up later on with a chase through the subway capped with a decapitation gag, and a steal from North By Northwest (1959) when a drugged Maggie awakens driving down the wrong lane on a busy freeway. It builds to a cool, monster-laden finale where nuns’ prayers combat slimy demons, a ritual sacrifice turns into a Waco-inspired siege and hosts of angels flock to Cody’s side. Although the script wastes the amusing idea of Stark being a former child star-turned-New Age self-help guru, the depiction of his New Dawn organisation (complete with sterile, user-friendly headquarters staffed chirpy, glassy-eyed believers and pamphlets offering catchy slogans) caused some offence to Scientologists.

Click here for the trailer


Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2878 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Chuck Russell  (1954 - )

American genre director who worked for Roger Corman before making his own movies, first as writer of Dreamscape, then helming Nightmare on Elm Street 3 and The Blob remake. Jim Carrey vehicle The Mask was a blockbuster, and he followed it with less impressive Eraser and The Scorpion King, then a string of lower budget, lower profile efforts.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: