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Belittling Horror Excessively: Mercy02:18 PM -- Thu October 22, 2015

Mercy

My Review: This movie is based on the Stephen King short story “Gramma”. Very loosely. What they really do is have a totally different story, which ends in the short story’s plot. The last quarter of this movie is the short story, but expanded with some other weird stuff.

So what that means for those who haven’t read the story is that this is the story of a pre-teen boy who liked hanging out with his Grandma. She was clearly a witch in some way, definitely some weird stuff going on there (which later gets explained in detail), but she was pretty much a mother to him, even though he had an actual mother. Later on, you realize their whole family is really messed up due to a lot of ancient history, which is really Grandma’s fault (and of course the demon she made a pact with, as usual), so that explains why his actual mother wasn’t a really good mother. Anyway, a year or two later, Grandma has gotten strangely and nastily senile, and the family takes her home from the care facility she’s been in, because it’s a really bad place. Eventually she dies, after a lot of inter-family drama, and sadly for the boy, he’s the only one home when she dies. And then things get weird, because she’s not acting the way dead people normally do, what with all the running around and trying to kill him.

You know, I’m not sure what I think about this movie. It’s definitely not really bad, but it also definitely has flaws. It’s interesting to dig into the family drama and how it all got this way, but in the end when all the supernatural stuff is flying, there aren’t any real rules to what’s happening. It’s one of those things where what happens is convenient for the plot instead of what would really happen - with the insane superpowers exhibited, Grandma would not have had any problem accomplishing her goal. There’s a bit of a final twist, which I should have guessed, which is kind of nice. There’s also sufficient lore in there to make everything make sense, and it all just kind of works. It’s not amazing, but there’s nothing truly broken there.

My Rating: 3/5 Wood Chippers.

My Movie Idea: I like the core concept here. In my movie, a big family all comes together because a very old member is on their deathbed. Everybody knows it will only be a few days, and it’s important for them all to be there for various reasons (maybe for some, it’s just because the old codger is crafty and mean and has a lawyer nearby - if they don’t show up, they can be sliced out of the will really fast). But of course, the family has a lot of ugly secrets and interpersonal problems. Couples that refuse to talk to others, old resentments hidden underneath that aren’t talked about, and all of that. All of these bad things come bubbling up when everybody’s not only stuck in very close proximity (it’s too small of a house for so many people, so there’s not a lot of escape and privacy), but also under a lot of emotional strain just waiting for this old man to die.

That’s actually all the plot I have, and it is indeed the plot to a heavy drama rather than any kind of horror movie, but first off, I never said my ideas were always horror, and secondly, I suppose that’s a matter of perspective. It depends on how far things go, right? How about a kind of old-school style movie: one of the people ends up murdering the dying old man who would’ve died within days anyway. So we have a whole murder mystery going on, and several other people end up dead, a cop shows up and gets much too involved (and has his own connections to the family). I can’t actually think of the motive for that murder right now, but you figure it out. It gets convoluted, people get dead, and a lot of people get really paranoid. And of course, nobody is allowed to leave, since everybody is a suspect. Yeah, it’s nothing original and I don’t have a big twist, but it sure could be interesting to watch it all unravel.
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