7.6/10
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Blessed Are the Children (2016)

Not Rated | | Drama, Horror, Thriller | 5 November 2016 (USA)
After getting an abortion, Traci Patterson begins to suspect that something sinister is following her and her friends.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Kaley Ball ...
Traci Patterson
Keni Bounds ...
Mandy Crane
Arian Thigpen ...
Erin Peters
Jordan Boyd ...
Ben Lane
Michael Kinslow ...
Stephen Fordham
...
John Balsam
Cheryl Abernathy ...
Stephanie Patterson
Jennifer Wilder ...
Tina
Hope Prybylski ...
Amy Moore
Claire Mayronne ...
Bernadette Moss
George Mayronne ...
Eric Moss
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eric Henderson ...
Cute Guy
Sara Largent ...
Gabbi
Chris Wesley ...
Jogger
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Storyline

Traci Patterson (Kaley Ball), an adrift 20-something who's still reeling from the death of her father and her breakup with an abusive fiancé (Jordan Boyd), discovers that she's pregnant. With the help of her friends, Erin and Mandy (Arian Thigpen, Keni Bounds), she decides to terminate her pregnancy, but quickly after leaving the clinic, she begins seeing and hearing things - shapes in the corner of her eye, strange noises in the middle of the night, and ghoulish figures stalking her every move. Is it guilt or are Traci and her friends in grave danger? Written by CWM Entertainment

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abortion | See All (1) »

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You held their life in your hands. He holds yours in his. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Release Date:

5 November 2016 (USA)  »

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Budget:

$1,000 (estimated)
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2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Haunting and well-made, low budget shocker
12 March 2017 | by See all my reviews

Abortion is a pretty hot button issue these days and it's something a lot of people don't want to discuss, so I have to give major props to writer/director Chris Moore for ripping off the Band-Aid and having the guts to tackle it in such a frank way in Blessed Are the Children.

Moore eases us into his disturbing yarn in such an almost calming, every day way that it makes the horrors that unfold later all the more terrifying. We meet Traci, a 20-something who can't seem to get a break. Her drunken ex-fiancé is terrorizing her, her mother is a bit of a bitch who still seems upset that she broke off the wedding, she's madly in love with a sexy med student who doesn't seem interested in anything more than a weekly booty call, and she still doesn't seem sure of what she wants out of life. As if that weren't enough problems for an entire movie, she finds out that she's pregnant and makes the decision to have an abortion.

When she leaves the clinic, she's stalked by masked protesters who show up to the house she shares with best friends, Erin and Mandy, and start leaving strange crying baby dolls outside at all hours of the night, calling her and her friends (in scenes that call to mind the original Black Christmas in their horrifying schizo freakiness), and, ultimately, moving into their attic. Needless to say, things start getting super creepy.

Going in with an open mind, all I asked for was a fun diversion and what I got with Blessed Are the Children was an incredibly memorable and unpredictable scare-fest. I'm sure the basic concept will turn some people off right when they hear the word "abortion", but to tell you the truth, the film never really takes a side on the issue and it's free from the usual preachy junk you'd see in a less clever film.

The best thing about the film are the characters. The dialogue and interplay between the three leads is realistic, sassy, and so much fun that I could have gladly continued watching them go about their day to day lives with no horror involved at all. As Traci, Kaley Ball hits just the right notes of sarcasm and sadness. She's able to say so much with just one look. It's wonderfully subtle work. As Traci's loyal best friends, Erin and Mandy, actresses Arian Thigpen and Keni Bounds offer a ton of support. Thigpen is a charming hoot as Erin, the 26 year old virgin, and gets a ton of mileage out of her character's super awkward persona. As Mandy, Bounds is warm and motherly with a whole lot of delightful sass. It's also interesting to note that Mandy is an out and proud lesbian and, yet, Bounds and Moore treat her like an every day person with zero clichés. I thought that was pretty neat and I'm sure GLBT film fans will like that.

The film is a bit of slow burn, but when the creepiness really starts about 30 minutes in, it's REALLY creepy. There are a lot of homages to films such as Halloween, (just look at all those shots of a victim in the foreground with one of the killers out of focus, lurking in the shadows behind them), Psycho (the focus on characters and one terrifying shower scene), Alice Sweet Alice (the atmosphere, mood, and the killers' get ups), and Black Christmas (the killer's phone calls/young women with personalities being terrorized by a killer in their attic), but it's never goes into rip-off territory. In fact, most of the film is pretty unpredictable and you get the sense that anybody can die at moment. The final shot of the film is genuinely bone-chilling as well.

Suspenseful, well-acted, and spooky, Blessed Are the Children proves that Chris Moore might be on his way to join the pantheon of socially conscious horror auteurs like George A. Romero, Wes Craven, David Cronenberg, and, most recently, Jordan Peele ("Get Out"). It's a must see for all serious horror fans!


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