Projections - Movie Reviews

Bless the Child Bless the Child

A new supernatural thriller that pays homage to The Omen and seems a bit like End of Days, is the disturbing but often spiritually enlightening Bless The Child.  Kim Basinger is the lead, is a soft hearted nurse working with an autistic newborn child.  She anoints something favorable to the standard good vs. evil hokum.

From Cathy Cash Steelman's book which delves into religion and satanic cults, there is no "666", but a birthday, December 16, 1993, and missing children which affect Maggie O'Connor's (Basinger) structured, quiet existence on Christmas Eve.

An estranged Jenna (Angela Bettis, Girl Interrupted), pail, distraught and a heroin addict leaves her newborn, Cody, without diapers or formula, for Maggie to raise.

In no time the dollish Cody (Holliston Coleman) who is emotional with Maggie but doesn't communicate, is like an adopted daughter from heaven, who likes to spin dishes.  However, in time she is seen to have a power that recalls Biblical scripture.  Mystery and sinister activity are manifest in the dark New York metropolis through Eric Stark (Rufus Sewell), as the young girl in a convent school is kidnaped by the cult guru who happens to be married to Jenna.

From here, Chuck Russell (Nightmare On Elm Street 3 and Eraser) juggles the story of a special child with suspense and showered with horror special effects.  Maggie battles the forked cross followers of Stark to get Cody back.  As Cody's aunt, Basinger endows a sincere desperate quality that isn't indelible or stirring, as she is easily maneuvered through an unfamiliar milieu which is a cross between The Warriors and Children of the Corn.

Jimmy Smits, an FBI agent, knows all about the very evil ways of Stark who appears to be as mobile as Saddam Hussein.  Smits is caught between the forces of good and evil.

Russell doesn't manage any telling surprises as he sculpts scenes in preparation of Cody's affirmation of Satan, in an expansive Gothic church, with Satan's bones, plenty of lit candles and torches beneath chandeliers.

There's also some noticeable support from Ian Holm as a strange, informative Jesuit priest, Lumi Cavazos as a Sister who prays for Maggie and Cody, and Dimitra Arlys as Stark's former nanny who has the ability to frighten.

Swell has a disarming nature in the aptly named Stark, but a cool ambiguity doesn't resonate as in Dark City.  Thus all of the detailed Hellraiser menagerie type special effects don't hold up for Cody's wicked blessing.  Bless The Child stares down the strong willed, tender Basinger with the brightly innocent Coleman.

Bless the Child

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