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This film is set in Amish Country, at a local farm, where a woman's husband is mysteriously killed by his own tractor!
A Stench In The Nostrils of God
'Deadly Blessing' is almost like a Wyeth painting with some detail or surface feature or embroidered aspect of such glaring off-keyness that it creates a surpassing sense of a horror so deep and vast that an entire culture was woven around and by it, or like if a Malick film tripped and hit its head on a rock in a field, blood streaming in its eyes having gone blind and mad with damage. The more I think about and watch 'Deadly Blessing' the more it becomes clear that this is maybe the key movie in Wes Craven's filmography, tying together thematically, narratively, and visually 'Last House on the Left', 'The Hills Have Eyes',…
An early offering from good old Wes Craven. He directed this sometime between The Hills Have Eyes and Swamp Thing, so that might be the reason it fell into obscurity or maybe it's because it also received horrid reviews. No matter, I thought this was GREAT.
The lead in the film is none other then Athena from Battlestar Galactica, Maren Jensen. I know that has no barring on anything but I loved her on that series and she's only been in a couple of TV series and one or two films before retiring from acting. In fact this is her last film and she's actually quite good in it.
She plays Martha Schmidt alongside her husband…
Deadly Blessing is a head-scratching oddity from Wes Craven. It's a bit shit, but I kind of liked it. It plays out, for the most part, as a bleak thriller-drama centring on a pack of aggressive Hittites (basically Amish people on steroids) and a widow (Maren Jensen) who has just lost her husband, an ex-Hittite, in a suspicious accident. Cue mysterious murders, snakes in bathtubs, and lots of shouts of "INCUBUS!"
Deadly Blessing chugs along at an enjoyable and leisurely pace. There's little in the way of death and violence, but there's the occasional intense moment of terror, usually involving a thoroughly traumatised and very young Sharon Stone. The film features a nightmare sequence that is among the most upsetting…
"Deadly Blessing" proves that, even before "A Nightmare on Elm Street," Wes Craven was not interested in making typical slasher films. Though "Deadly Blessing" borrows tropes from the slasher subgenre, Craven deftly mixes them into an original story that earns it thrills from more than just a villain with a knife.
The story follows the tension between the pious Hitites and a woman who was married to man who left the sect. Bad things then begin to happen to both sides. The narrrative progresses from straightforward to twisty and is appealingly compelling. There is enough mid-western American atmosphere to flavor things, and the film is measured in its pacing. Interestingly, some dream imagery and a recognizable bathtub sequence show Craven building the foundation for Elm Street.
"Deadly Blessing" is far from perfect: a hammy Ernest Borgnine and some questionable effects shots mar the film to some degree. It is, however, an effective, sometimes unsettling horror film.
Viewed on DVD
Hopp-Tober 2.0 #15
What a strange film this ended up being. I thought I had it all figured out. I thought I knew what was going to happen and if it turned out the way I thought it would, Deadly Blessings would have been a much better film than it was.
So much was crammed into the last 20 minutes of the film, I still don't know what happened.
There is good reason why Deadly Blessings has slipped by the way side over the years considering it's a Wes Craven film starring legendary actor Ernest Borgnine and a fresh faced Sharon Stone. It's an interesting and intriguing film about an Amish family, a young couple, their neighbours and INCUBUS!
It's just disappointing.
You are a stench in the nostrils of God!
I wasn't sure how this was going to turn out on a rewatch, but I ended up liking it even more this time around. Knowing the story in advance made all the foreshadowing in the first act stick out showing that there's actually a couple of levels to this film despite it seemingly being a straight forward slasher film. You look at several characters differently when you know the whole story.
Not a masterpiece of a thriller, but shows a premising Wes Craven.
Two young women come to stay with a very recently widowed friend only to have to deal with a series of brutal murders, a religious cult called the Hittites, and a possible incubus.
Some pretty good moments of true horror and the cast does well, but the story line is jumbled and makes way for a pointless and unneeded shock ending.
Somewhere in the middle of Wes Craven's efforts.
Overall, I'd say that I liked Deadly Blessing but it had quite a lot of shortcomings. I think there are some good performances in the movie from most of the performers and the concept is an interesting one. Unfortunately, playing 95% of the movie as a straight slasher, teasing supernatural elements, and then only delivering supernatural things in the final shot makes for a bit of a wonky movie. I guessed the identity of the slasher in the first act but that generally doesn't bother me so much, especially in this instance because there was an additional layer that I did not see coming. Deadly Blessing is the fourth feature film directed by Wes Craven and it is well directed…
Craven's Cronenbergian take on The Omen. Which starts out sloppy (the painting confrontation between Lisa Hartman and Michael Berryman, which we then get a joke later about him having a crush on her- movie... please) and just builds into a clusterfuck-pileup of people going crazy and trying to terrorize, screw, and eventually kill each other. But the killing itself must be centered around the farm of one couple because the land they own is valuable to the religious cult who lives smack dab in the middle of all this lunacy. All of the nonsense that makes up the horror scenes is strictly in service to red herrings. Of which, there are so many close calls that frustration or total indifference…
Wait...was Summer of Fear actually given a theatrical release or was that just shameless self-promotion?
My mother's aphasia must be kicking in early, because even though I literally just watched Grease I could not figure out who that was. Had to look it up on Wikipedia. Soon I won't recognize former classmates fast enough to avoid them in the grocery store.
Anyway! Extremism of any kind is scary. You can't reason with it, creating a damned if you do and damned if you don't situation, intolerance being sort of like a virus. Hard not to end up catching it, and sometimes just trying to avoid catching it is so tiring you end up catching it. There aren't a whole lot of other options.
Well, unless you just become a crazy reclusive shut in who just watches movies all day long. And sadly, I can only do that part time. If I didn't have witchcraft, I'm not sure what would happen.
One of the few Wes Craven films I still had to check out, Deadly Blessing shows promise but never really kicks into gear. It does hold your attention to know what exactly is going on but, in the end, it just feels like different story-elements thrown together.
The night I watched this, I felt someone's hands grabbing my head while i slept.
cloned from my '80s poster list, then trimmed and expanded, since i decided i'd like to have a list for…