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1 review, 12 user ratings

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Blessed (2004)
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by Scott Weinberg

"It's Hell being pregnant."
2 stars

SCREENED VIA THE 2004 L.A. SCREAMFEST HORROR FILM FESTIVAL: Shooting for a modern-day "Rosemary's Baby" vibe but somehow coming off more like the misshapen spawn of "Godsend" and "The Seventh Sign" is the all-new biblical-ish preggo-in-distress thriller known as "Blessed". Sorry to say that this one's pretty much a big, gaping yawn. But hey, it's not every day you get to see Heather Graham, Andy Serkis and Stella Stevens in the same movie.

Courtesy of some loopy plot machinations that make no sense, a lovely young couple needs to get pregnant in a hurry. One would think that for such photogenic procreators like James Purefoy and Heather Graham, this wouldn't create much of a problem. But it is, so off go the pretty young schoolmarm and the hunky young novelist to one of those gleaming edifices in which sperm, ovaries and DNA are often monkeyed with...nefariously.

In order for the couple to create a baby in short order, a certain medical procedure is required - one that demands a few eggs from Mommy, a little gravy from Papa, oh, and a few drops of Lucifer's blood that's been stored in a golden phallus for the last 2,000 years. Since the Devil's Blood is probably not covered by the young couple's health insurance, the doctors neglect to mention its inclusion within the baby batter.

There's a whole lot of dead air for the next 40-some minutes, which is ocassionally punctuated by something that's meant to be creepy yet turns up either silly or just plain ugly. (Hey, I love nasty horror as much as anyone, but is there ever a need to see a swollen pregnant lady get bashed in the belly with a 2 x 4?) Subplots are dedicated to a kooky realtor (Stella Stevens) and a clearly-demonic-to-everyone-besides-the-protagonists publishing magnate (David Hemmings, in his final role), but nothing seems to stick. Not even Andy Serkis, sporting a truly hilarious Italian accent, can jolt much b-movie kitsch into a flick this arid and drab.

Blessed is composed of concepts from movies that weren't all that hot to begin with, and first-time director Simon Fellows doesn't seem to know where the pieces even fit. Visually, the guy's got a solid eye, so one hopes to see him working on a better screenplay some time soon. As for the pair of inexperienced screenwriters, the lesson is clear: if you're going to rehash a few tired old concepts, do yourself a favor and breathe some new life into these contrived scenarios. "Heather Graham contains Lucifer's fetus" may sound like a sure bet, but there needs to be something more than the endless deluge of familiar conceits, fake scares and yap-yap-yap.

Most likely a casualty of the "DNA Thriller" sub-genre that never really happened, "Blessed" (a.k.a "Samantha's Child") is worth a look to Heather Graham completists, as the gal delivers some of her best work in years, but horror hounds will undoubtedly walk away disappointed...if they're not fast asleep.

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originally posted: 10/10/04 08:43:01
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 ScreamFest L.A. Horror Festival. For more in the 2004 ScreamFest L.A. series, click here.

User Comments

9/29/06 Imran the worst movie of this generation...director needs to go back to school!! 1 stars
9/22/06 Alyssa Hale Slow moving and dumb, a complete waste. 1 stars
7/20/05 s a 1 stars
5/28/05 john farrel was worst than Joey 1 stars
4/26/05 Michael B. Argg, what a waste of time and $$ 1 stars
4/12/05 Rodreguez Good eye? Nicely framed shots? The cinematography was soo dull. 2 stars
12/31/04 Roz Sad to see some good actors in such an awful movie. 2 stars
12/17/04 Harvey Jacobs Totally predictable, especially the ending. 1 stars
12/10/04 lee totally worthless & lame film; but thanks for explaining who the awful "italian" actor was! 1 stars
12/10/04 Moon Man I feel blessed I didn't pay to see "Blessed", but it was so bad I STILL want the money back 1 stars
10/28/04 John Cooper Really nicely framed shots. Will keep my eye on the director! 4 stars
10/11/04 Fran Reviewer is right about this one! 1 stars
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  14-Dec-2004 (R)
  DVD: 14-Dec-2004



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