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Bless The Child [DVD] 
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DVD Special Features:
Commentary by Chuck Russell (Director) and Joel Hynek (Visual Effects Supervisor)
Languages: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English for the hearing impaired.
Bless the Child is one of several identikit supernatural thrillers released in the wake of The Sixth Sense. It's another attempt to update 70s satanic-child flicks such as The Omen, although the twist here is that the child is a force for ultimate good. One winter night, nurse Maggie O'Connor (Kim Basinger) arrives home to find her junkie sister Jenna on her doorstep, destitute and in dire straits, holding a newly born baby wrapped in swaddling. She takes them in, but shortly after Jenna absconds leaving the child, Cody, in Maggie's care. Six years later, Jenna returns with her creepy new husband, Eric (Rufus Sewell), in tow to reclaim Cody, who has grown into a quiet but precocious child with a talent for telekinesis. They promptly disappear leaving Maggie distraught and desperate to recover her adopted child.
The chief problem with Bless the Child lies in its premise. As the film reaches its denouement and a glowing angelic host attempts to save Cody by snuffing out Sewell's satanic presence, one begins to suspect that this is the Hollywood equivalent of a Christian Rock album, attempting religious conversion by stealth and subversion. That said, the movie rolls along at a cracking pace and features several nice touches: Sewell is suitably creepy as the squint-eyed cult leader; Christina Ricci literally loses her head to the forces of darkness in a blink and you'll miss it cameo; and Cody's horrific waking nightmares put a new twist on what really lies at the end of the bed when the lights go out.
On the DVD: An awkward audio commentary pairs director Chuck Russell with visual effects supervisor Joel Hynek. Russell is keen on spelling out the rather obvious motivations of his characters while Hynek relays the difficulties encountered in realising the film's numerous special effects sequences, but it's hardly the kind of stuff that enhances your viewing of the film. A 10-minute featurette contains the standard enthusiastic cast and crew interviews. The inclusion of a theatrical trailer and seven virtually identical TV spots is simply overkill. The clear picture quality of the main feature shows off Peter Menzies' suitably Gothic cinematography, presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic format with 5.1 Dolby Digital sound. --Chris CampionSee all Product description
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Top customer reviews
The director for this film was Chuck Russell. His previous films included the 1988 remake of the Blob, The Mask and Nightmare on Elm Street 3. This is perhaps the first time he has had to really present the psychological aspects of the characters to this degree. He has a good eye for framing a scene. There is a sense of balance in his use of camera placement and lighting. The set design captures the feel of New York, something I appreciate as a resident of this city for all my life. He uses the city as a backdrop that demonstrates the conflict of hope and despair central to the story.
The strongest point of the film is the acting. Bassinger is not a sex symbol, but a normal woman who is desperate to save a loved one. Her sister is movingly portrayed as a troubled addict, while the evil protagonist is truly frightening. Smits is also excellent as a priest turned cop, having found "another way to serve him." The chemistry of these characters works extremely well. The child is also eminently believable.
In addition, though dated the special effects are quite evocative, esp. at the end. I don't want to give away the plot: suffice it to say that even though I am a non-believer, I was moved, at times terrified, always interested. The atmospherics of the film are especially powerful.
On the weaker side, the plot was a bit far-fetched, full of chance encounters and desperate moves that didn't quite ring true to me.
Not the most original plot, being similar to ‘The Omen’ and many other films of its type, but it is good as Maggie tries to understand events going on around her. This is more a suspense thriller as the child becomes a target of ‘evil doers’ and at first you don’t know who can be trusted and what the girl is really up to.
The single disc features play, scene selection, special features [Interviews, trailer, commentary and Tv spots] and subtitles [English on, hard of hearing on or subtitles off]. Will probably not suit gore’ horror fans as it’s mainly psychological as you try to figure it out at the start and then it plays on the emotions in the second half. A good late night chiller worthy of a ***** entertainment value.
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