By Eric D. Snider (reprint from Sundance Film Festival 2009)
Among the items on the prop list for Grace are: one (1) baby bottle filled with blood and one (1) dead baby. Now that you know that, a review might be superfluous -- you already know whether or not you want to see this movie.
If you are the sort of person who might enjoy an effed-up gore-fest about a woman who delivers an undead baby, you can rest assured that Grace lives up to its potential. It's at least as effed-up as you'd expect, and first-time writer/director Paul Solet (expanding on his 2006 short) proves himself adept both as a visual storyteller and as a guy who can make you crap your pants.
Jordan Ladd stars as Madeline Matheson, a young woman who has finally, after years of trying, conceived a child with her dull husband, Michael (Stephen Park). Madeline's intrusive mother-in-law, Vivian (Gabrielle Rose), knows exactly which doctors Madeline should go to, which birthing practices she should follow, and even what food she should be eating (Vivian disapproves of Madeline's vegan lifestyle). But Madeline favors the New Age-y philosophies of her old friend Patricia (Samantha Ferris), a midwife with a medical degree who does holistic childbirth -- plopping out babies in pools of water while a CD of pan-flute music plays, that sort of thing.
After a slow several minutes of exposition and mood-setting, Solet kicks things into action with a series of crises that put Madeline's pregnancy at risk. An emergency-room stand-off between Patricia and the old family doctor that Vivian selected (Malcolm Stewart) is tense and unsettling, but that's only the beginning of Madeline's troubles. Eventually she gives birth to a stillborn baby girl -- except that the infant only stays dead for a few moments before reawakening. And I believe you know the tendencies of humans in horror movies who are brought back from the dead.