BLESS THE CHILD. 2000. BASED ON THE 1993 BOOK BY CATHY CASH SPELLMAN. DIRECTED BY CHUCK RUSSELL.
STARRING KIM BASINGER, RUFUS SEWELL, JIMMY SMITS, IAN HOLM, ANGELA BETTIS AND CHRISTINA RICCI.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
This is a pretty poor film. I was personally disappointed when I realised that it wasn’t a film about an evil child, like in THE OMEN or THE EXORCIST, but a good child. A super-good child, in fact. A child so good that for centuries the forces of evil have been waiting to get their grubby mitts on her. I would have much preferred an evil child but, even aside from that, it was still a poor film.
Kim Basinger, whom I’ve always felt was just a trifle bland, or blank even, as an actress, plays Maggie O’Connor, a psychiatric nurse at a busy New York hospital. One day out of the blue, Maggie’s younger, not-so-together sister Jenna, whom she hasn’t seen for years, turns up on her doorstep clutching her newborn baby, the niece that Maggie never even knew she had. Jenna disappears again the same day, leaving a shocked Maggie literally holding the baby…
The child, a little girl called Cody, grows up autistic. Her Aunt Maggie dotes on her and gives her the best of everything. She’s not happy, therefore, when six or so years later Jenna turns up unannounced once more.
This time, she has a new husband in tow, the revoltingly smarmy Eric Stark. Eric belongs to a cult called New Dawn. He knows that Cody is a very special child. She has powers that Eric and his chums want to exploit, but not for good. For evil…
The second half of the film basically sees Kim Basinger running around like a headless chicken, trying to get Cody back from the mad culties who’ve kidnapped her so they can use her in their quest for world domination. She enlists the aid of Jimmy Smits’s FBI specialist in occult-related crimes to back her up when the final, inevitable showdown between good and evil occurs.
I don’t like to get personal, but I kind of feel the same way about Jimmy Smits as I do about Kim Basinger. Bland, bland, bland. Is there anything going on behind the bland good looks…? Who knows…?
The ending is disappointing, as are the practically non-existent special effects. A clash between Satan’s minions and God’s army has the potential to be utterly spectacular. Sadly, this is not the case with BLESS THE CHILD. There are contributions by Bilbo Baggins and Wednesday Addams, aka Ian Holm and Christina Ricci, but they’re only worth mentioning in passing.
I really hate being this negative about a horror film but I just felt so let-down by this one. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t watch it, though. You never know, you might see something in it that I don’t. Unlikely, haha, but it’s a free country after all and y’all can do what y’all wants to do…!
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO
Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books.