Mother Knows Best

Grace is a movie about the love of a mother that transcends her kin’s notable abnormality released in the year 2009 by Paul Solet. It is about the transcendent love of the mother for her child despite her child was an anomalous baby that drinks human blood. Through and through, the Madeline’s love for Grace knows no bounds going as so far as killing others just to protect her child.

After a couple of unsuccessful attempts in bearing a baby, the pair of Michael and Madeline succeed the third time. Madeline preferred to take an unorthodox way of delivering the baby by using a midwife forgoing the hospital. One day when she felt chest pains, she rushed to the hospital and on their way going home, a car crash kills both her husband and the baby in her womb. Eventually, Madeline reaches her term and delivered the baby through a midwife friend named Patricia. In a miraculous event, the baby was alive and the mother named her Grace.

As the new mother takes care of her baby, she notices unconventional observations on her baby. Her observations include that the baby seems to stink despite not being soiled and things such as bleeding when given a bath. Despite this, the mother did not want to visit the hospital and Madeline’s attempts of contacting her friend is rebuked by Patricia’s girlfriend. It came to a point where her surroundings was less than ideal that Michael’s mom, Vivian, wanted a doctor to declare her unfit of taking care of Grace.

Despite several attempts at feeding her child, Madeline noticed that Grace could not digest milk. She soon realizes that her baby was actually feeding on her blood. Eventually, Vivian being that she is the grandmother of the baby seeks to take the baby away. As she arrives in the house, she saw the state of the house. Then, she finds the baby and tries to take her away. However, Madeline finds her and they have a final battle where Vivian’d throat was ripped apart by her daughter in law.

The final scene of the movie let us peek in the new life where Patricia and Madeline have assumed new identities and shows us a teething Grace partly eating half of her mother’s breast.

In Barbara Creed’s “Horror and the monstrous-feminine”, she tackles the term abjection which means, “does not respect borders, positions, rules . . . that which disturbs identity, system, order”. Particularly, the articles mentions Kristeva’s Powers of Horror as she challenges the norms of the patriarchal society in terms of abjection as horror. In the movie, we see that Madeline is the abject. As the mother, she was willing to die for her daughter. She was willing to compromise every thing that she is and every thing that she would become in the future for her. It was quite traumatizing for her to lose her husband in the car accident, however she was clearly more concerned about her unborn child.

There were two female leads that as the abject of the film. The first one being Madeline and the other one being Vivian. As Vivian cope with the lost of her son, she seeks to replace him with her granddaughter which was Grace. We see her act as if she was the mother of the baby even going as far as pumping her breast milk. Lastly, it is important to point out that Grace was the ultimate symbol of horror in the film. Similar to what Filipinos call as “tiyanak”, Grace was like a vampire baby. She was feeding off of blood of her mom. The baby as a symbol of horror in the film replaced her father as her mom’s object of affection.

All in all, I liked the movie Grace. I love how the movie was able to project a strong feminist message across to the audience. It did not put emphasis on the men of the film rather the women. If you would notice, there really no standout men persona in the film. To me, the message sent by the film is that moms would go through any lengths just to protect their child, which may not be the case for dads. The movie was able to portray very well the role of the mother in nurturing the child. However, it is important to highlight that in lacking the male figure, the women were portrayed as vulnerable except for Patricia. Both Madeline and Vivian were desperate for affections, which the baby provides.




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