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Bless the Child 

Bless the Child Movie Poster

Paramount Pictures and Icon Productions
VHS, DVD, 2000, Rated R, 2 hr.

I wasn't really a Kim Basinger fan, but this movie made me appreciate her acting more than I originally did. Basinger plays Maggie O'Conner, who one day comes home to discover her drug-addicted little sister Jenna (Angela Bettis) on her doorstep with her newborn baby girl. Before you can say, "I know what's coming next," Jenna bolts, leaving Maggie to care for and raise the child. It is obvious that baby Cody (Holliston Coleman) is not like other children. At first labeled as autistic, Maggie, a psychiatric nurse, isn't convinced of the diagnosis. It isn't until six years later that she learns that Cody is basically the reincarnation of Christ. Maggie must save the child from falling in the hands of Satan worshipers who plan to either convert or kill the little girl.

In an effort to find the "blessed child", a group of Satan-worshipers start killing kids born on the "special day", which is of course, Cody's birthday. Thinking they have a serial killer preying on children, special agent John Travis (Jimmy Smits) is assigned to help the NYPD find the killer.

This movie kept me entertained, but it did have a few big problems. My biggest peeve is with the way certain characters react to situations. In one scene, Cody leads Maggie into a church and stands before an alter candles and a statue of the Virgin Mary. Suddenly the candles light up and the statue beings to shed tears. Maggie simply grabs Cody and they leave. Maybe it's just me, but wouldn't you freak out if that happened to you? Maggie never acknowledges it and still remains clueless as to Cody's powers. And that reaction is typical to everything Maggie sees and learns throughout the movie. She simply does not put the pieces together. Although her character is clueless, Basinger does pull off the damsel in distress role through her vulnerability and, at times, strength.

The character of Cody never fully develops. Although Holliston Coleman is adorable, she doesn't have enough to do other than be dragged from Maggie to the cult and back again. It might as well have been a magic wand that they were fighting over. Cult leader Eric Stark (Rufus Sewell) is not a strong enough presence to play Satan's right-hand man. Gabrielle Byrne pulled it off much better in The End of Days.

In a cameo as Cheri, Christina Ricci is her wonderful self. She brings believability and strength to her small role as a former cult member who helps Maggie find Cody after the child is abducted by the Satan-worshippers.

The special effects were mediocre, predictable, and not very original. But aside from the standard shadowy "evil" representations, they did focus on "good" spirits and phenomena. Quite a few movies are big on special effects showing the "dark side", while leaving the "good side" to be represented by a few bright white lights. This is also something the director comments about in the DVD edition.


Do you think we got this movie totally wrong? Agree with us? Or just want everyone to know your thoughts? Then start a discussion of this movie in our forums!

QUICK FACTS

Studio

Paramount Pictures and Icon Productions

Genre

Horror

Rating

R

Length

120 Minutes

Color

Yes

Sound

Yes

 

CAST

Actor / Actress

Character

Kim Basinger

Maggie O'Connor

Jimmy Smits

John Travis

Holliston Coleman

Cody

Rufus Sewell

Eric Stark

Angela Bettis

Jenna

Christina Ricci

Cheri

Michael Gaston 

Bugatti

Lumi Cavazos

Sister Rosa

 

CREW

Chuck Russell

Director

Bruce Davey

Executive Producer

Mace Neufield

Producer

Tom Rickman

Writer

Cliff Green

Writer

Ellen Green

Writer

Chuck Russell

Writer

Don Roos 

Writer

Joel Hynek

Visual Affects Supervisor

Peter Menzies

Cinematographer

Christopher Young 

Composer

Denise Cronenberg

Costume Designer

Alan Heim

Editor

Carol Spier

Production Designer

Reviewed by: Hauntmistress, 4/02/2001

 



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