Weinberg:
Pete Hall tells me we should start these debates with Grace.

Do you and I disagree on it?

McHargue:
I pretty much hated that movie. beyond the sound design, which was incredibly effective, I was very disappointed with it

Weinberg:
Hate is a strong word. One I generally reserve for backyard gore flicks and remakes like The Stepfather. Please elaborate.

McHargue:
Perhaps I'm using a bit of hyperbole. I'm known for that, I guess. When i watched it I was expecting a taut psychological thriller. While the premise remained incredibly intriguing, it managed to devolve, at least for me, into nothing more than endless bad decisions made by thin, unbelievable characters.

Weinberg:
I have no problem whatsoever with the decisions made by the mommy character, as I felt her decisions came (semi-) directly from the baby. You thought the grandmother and midwife characters behaved unrealistically? So much so that it detracted from the whole film?

McHargue:
I'll definitely concede to Madeline's decisions, not due to influence from her child but instead influence from the inherent trait all new mothers have. She would do anything to protect her newborn.

The actions of the character's, I think, were in part responsible for making the film so unappealing to me. The premise was such that it lent itself perfectly to psychological horror - we witness the slow descent of insanity of Madeline as she comes to terms with her reanimated baby. While this is indeed alluded to, it eschewed that in favor of gore, a bizarre lesbian subplot, and the weirdest mother-in-law known to man. I understood her concern with the baby, but her presence detracted from what I thought the film should have been.

You can chalk it all up to expectation, I suppose. Grace was one of my most anticipated movies, so I may have been setting myself up for disappointment.

Weinberg:
without discounting your fine opinions, any "expectations" that a film comes with are your fault -- not the movie's.

And I didn't find the mother-in-law or the lesbian midwife ex-girlfriend to be all that unrealistic in the context of the film. Basically the three women represent wildly different dimensions of femininity.

Second time I watched Grace, I looked at it as an unoffical sequel to Rosemary's Baby. It was a rather successful experiment. Plus it's tough to balance brainy with gory. I think Solet succeeded a lot more than he struck out is all.

McHargue:
Regarding my expectations, I agree. Nothing I can really do about it, I suppose.

Concerning the midwife and mother-in-law, I just felt one of their roles could have been thinned out a bit. Of the two, I found the mother-in-law slightly more believable, as she just lost her son and is struggling to accept the fact that the mother of her grandchild is a vegan nutjob. The dichotomy between the two could have been perfect, but Solet, I feel, cluttered it up with the lesbian midwife subplot. It was a damned solid concept that I felt could have been executed in a much better way.

I revisited Grace again to see if my opinion would change on it, but alas, no such luck. I will concede on your point about the differing sides of femininity. Solet tackled an incredibly difficult subject, populating his film primarily with women doing things only women can do. While I don't think the film as a whole succeeded, I admire his attempt at doing so.

Weinberg:
Perhaps the midwife is obsessed because she loves mommy and desperately wants that baby; perhaps mother in law has cracked because she just lost her only son and desperately wants that baby.

I think the film is a love letter to Polanski and Cronenberg, which is not a comparison, but I always love that sort of love letter. If the tone wavers a bit between absurd, horrifying, and amusing, then I say well done for even attempting that sort of combo. I say thumbs up and I win this argument, placenta down. Final words of concession, Brad?

McHargue:
This calls to mind Drag Me to Hell, which I loathed beyond all comprehension. Many considered it a throwback to classic Raimi due to its fusion of several elements, primarily horror and comedy. Concerning Grace, the level of absurdity regarding the characters actions couldn't be reconciled with the tension and dread Solet was trying to create. Thumbs down because I said so and I'm always right.
CATEGORIES Features, Horror