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3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 26 June 2011
This is not a bad effort from Wes Craven, having an eerie and at times claustrophobic atmosphere. It is set in an American country community very akin to the Amish but these people are called the Hittites who, according to one character, "make the Amish look like swingers".

After her husband dies in mysterious circumstances, Martha (Maren Jensen) invites two female friends, Vicky and Lana (Susan Buckner and Sharon Stone respectively) to spend some time with her on her isolated farm in the Hittite community. In fact, Jim her now deceased husband was once a member. If there is one thing that the Hittites hate, it is someone who leaves their community and strangers. (OK that's two things), which does not bode well for Martha and her friends. In fact nasty things happen to anyone who transgresses Hittite morality. Could there be more than human nastiness at work as weird and nasty things happen? Leader of the community, Isaiah, a suitably manic looking Ernest Borgnine knows more than he is letting on; and what exactly is the Incubus?

There are some scary moments in this film but also some well-worn cliches. There are the usual things that go bump in the night and also the daft things that people do in this sort of film such as going out alone in a strange place on a dark night when there is a killer on the prowl. The ending throws up a couple of surprises but also leaves the viewer wondering what it was all about.
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on 25 November 2015
A TV movie - entertaining, not gory, very much an early 80's film. A little confused in it's intention but worth having for the collector. I wont spoil the end but I didn't see it coming. Nice to hear Wes' commentary on one of his first films especially after his recent passing
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on 28 January 2014
Much like Cravens other film beginning with Deadly, (Deadly Friend), this is a lost gem and should be sought out by all Craven fans.

Although the synopsis doesn't really give much away, the film really sticks it to minority religions, and makes the group almost seem 'children of the corn' like.

Borgnine is stunning as the leader of the group, and although it connotates that it's his doing, the reality is a little more bizarre.

Once the bloke from The Fall Guy gets killed, we are introduced to the main characters of the film. The lead, Sharon Stone, and some other woman, who all have different views and fears.

Although she is secondary in this movie, Stone arguably has the best and most haunting scenes involving spiders and a barn.

It's not a scary movie by any means, and it's a stretch to call it a Horror, but it just has this strange sense of unease throughout the whole movie.

Berryman is just,in the film to pull fans in, and you can understand why Craven hates this ending, as it's just so out of context with the rest of the film.

So for Craven completists, it's a must, and for anyone else, it's a good thriller, with some great lighting, set pieces, but an iffy ending.
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on 5 May 2012
This is a pretty cool Wes craven horror movie that is long lost since it was made in 1981, this was the fifth movie that he made, the story is pretty cool with lots of bizarre things going on and has a very unexpected ending!! The movie stars a very young and sexy Sharon Stone in her first major film role, she appears in the movies most famous scene where a spider goes in her mouth!! This is a cool 80's gem worth picking up.
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on 21 November 2011
Wes Craven is easily one of the greatest directors in all of horror cinema. Creating such incredible films as THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, THE HILLS HAVE EYES, SCREAM and A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET its easy to forget about his lesser known gems and DEADLY BLESSING is among his best.

DEADLY BLESSING tells the story of an Amish community who are not as harmless as they first appear. The cast is top-notch (with Michael Berryman being my favourite of the bunch) as is the directing. For all you Craven buffs here, you'll be able to spot the many ideas and scenes that would later appear in the infamous A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET.

Overall, this is easily one of the best Craven films out there and is a must for all horror fans. It's amongst the best of relgious horror films such as THE EXORCIST, THE OMEN and CHILDREN OF THE CORN.
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on 25 April 2013
Horror films set in the old West are rare, and this early Wes Craven offering has a kind of unique feeling to it, as sophisticated city types clash with the ancient ways of the Hittites, strictly religious folk who don't welcome the unbelievers and strangers to their land.

Those who stray from the good path are consumed by an "incubus" rising from the fields to take the godless away to purgatory.

Lots of thee-ing and thou-ing in the dialogue to suggest an old time world, despite the film being set in 1981, and it is fun to see Ernest Borgnine in such a film - chewing the scenery.

A few interesting touches here and there and only some very minor gore, set this out as a mood piece rather than the average slasher, which is no bad thing. There are a number of odd sub-plots that don't seem to quite fit with the main story flow, and the final appearance of the incubus does seem to sit opposite what the entire rest of the film has tried to set up, but all in all this isn't a bad little film.
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Thus reads the blurb on the reverse of this splendid ARROW DVD from 2011. Well presented with a notelet about the film and a large poster, also their catalogue and the3 Michael Berryman interview. The picture is excellent, tho I think Sharon Stone still had to master the art of talking (I had to ramp up the sound sometimes when she was whispering - Maybe Wes told her to??). A very worthwhile effort from Arrow. The film is still pretty scary, and has good parts for women - Maren Jensen Susan Buckner and Lois Nettleon and particularly Lisa Hartman all working well. Borgnine of course steals most scenes and is genuinely impressive. I think this is possibly Craven's best horror film even if, as others have said, the ending is confusing and perhaps irrelevant??? I recomend this to all horror/Craven fans, but beware if you have a spider or snake phobia.
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on 13 August 2013
This is a nice atmospheric horror from one of the masters Wes Craven. Shot on a farm and dealing with an isolated community who live like its the 18th century. Though they neighbour a couple who are very much living in the present. There are obvious tensions and spats, but things get darker when the killings begin....

Deadly Blessing meant that Craven got to hook up with the talented Michael Berryman from The Hills Have Eyes. The great Ernest Borgnine stars as the head of the weird community and there is an early starring role for Sharon Stone. Indeed there is a strong female cast here, both villian and hero.

Fans of A Nightmare on Elm Street which would surface 3 years after this film will notice some subtle connections here. Stone's telling of her Krueger like nightmare and the bath scene are obvious similarities.

The acting is pretty solid, though Stone tends to 'overact' her part. It's a strange little film that certaintly does its job.

The climax which I will not reveal is to be fair a little bizarre.

This Arrow edition includes a 30 min retrospective with Berryman which is absolute GOLD with a capital G. I loved it. Berryman comes across as a real likeable person who says it as it is.

A worthwhile purchase.
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on 18 October 2014
Considered by many as Wes Craven's low point in his career, the very idea sets expectations so low for a film that is so inoffensive, it's pretty much impossible not to enjoy this on some level. Overall it's entertaining but still pretty bad.
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A fine transfer of an enjoyable Wes Craven horror movie which would have been better with Craven's original ending not the sub-Carrie shock ending imposed by the studio. Certainly worth a look!
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