Bless the Child (2000)
Director: Chuck Russell
Young "Cody" is abandoned by her junkie mother and her care falls into the lap of older sister Maggie (Basinger) who winds up raising her. Cody begins showing signs of "special" powers, it seems that she represents good (or the second coming of Christ). Former child actor turned Satanist Eric (Sewell) wants Cody for himself so he can turn her to the dark side and use her powers for evil. And Jimmy Smiths is a cop, who once almost became a priest, here to save the day. Yes, we are in hell.
The Omen meets The Believers meets my pillow. This movie is a snore fest and almost shut my lights out. It all starts off well, with some creepy moments (kids getting killed) and some fine "rat" attacks but then the film becomes ridiculous with its literal interpretations of elements straight out of the Bible. Yes, boys and girls, angels and demons have wings and Lucifer has horns 'n all. The film should have kept its mystical elements hidden or even interpreted them in a subtler way. We get all the classic "Bible" beasts in CGI splendor and it's far from scary or fascinating…it’s just plain silly. Even when the film doesn’t go the CGI way (with the angels in human form) it misses the mark. The human angels were the scariest part of the flick, smiling way too much…creepy…
The movie bathes in Catholicism, now don’t get me wrong I have nothing against the religion but the flick felt more like Bible school than a horror film. The Bible mumbo jumbo and the annoying nuns dragged the film down. Too bad cause fun could have been had here….
Rufus Sewell is one of the only reasons to even contemplate seeing this movie. He’s just fun to watch. The other reason is seeing Christina Ricci get a nasty beating (I laughed so hard). Apart from that...nothing!
The dialogue is lousy, the acting is on (Sewell) and off (every time Bettis and Basinger share a scene), our two heroes (Basinger and Smiths) keep on making stupid choices (which made me root for the bad guys) and yes, I’ll say it again, the CGI crap is corny and takes you out of the film. And I have a question…why are all the cops in this movie dumb as shite??? With cops like that no wonder the city is going to hell.
The Omen didn’t need CGI, neither did The Believers...and both films are scary. Bless The Child is neither frightening or interesting and apart from a kool scene between Sewell and Coleman on a rooftop, the film is a bore. Bless my arse…
The goriest part is someone getting his eyes poked out with knitting needles, apart from that…dry.
Kim Basinger (Maggie) tries real hard and her acting is on and off. I think it boils down to: Do you like Kim Basinger? If yes, you’ll appreciate her, if not…you’ll hate her. One thing is for sure and that is that her scenes with Angela Bettis (Jeanna) are way off. Angela Bettis does fine with what she has to do…cry and look strung out. Jimmy Smiths (John) is ok but seems to be playing the same part he plays on TV (see him in The Believers and be convinced of his acting talent). Rufus Sewell (Eric) is a delight and more of him would have been appreciated. He owns every scene he’s in. Holliston Coleman (Cody) gives a great show. She’s very convincing and I felt for her. Impressing (the girl is 10 years old…wow!). Ian Holm (Reverend) collects a paycheck and Christina Ricci dresses in black and looks messed up again. It’s all about that beating…fun stuff!!!
T & A
Basinger and Ricci have a lesbian scene…NOT!
Russell does get a few nice shots in there but he overuses slow motion big time. Serious scenes are turned hilarious due to his trigger-happy slo-mo habit. It’s a competent effort but a stale one.
I couldn’t tell you, I guess I was too fascinated by the CGI demons.
I say skip it and rent The Omen or The Believers instead. Any impact the film could’ve had (I mean young children are getting murdered here) is ruined by CGI floating demons/ angels and dumb heroes. Rufus Sewell is fun times, that’s for sure, but next time I hope he’s in a better movie. Another thing: according to this flick, Satanism is way kooler than Catholicism. I mean the Devil is there for you at the drop of a hat but if you want God's help, you have to beg, pray and hope he shows up at the last minute. Lucky I don’t believe everything I see in movies. Going to church is more fun than this crud.
The CGI effects were done by MVFX. They won an Oscar for The Matrix and also did stuff for Mission Impossible 2.