Director – Chris Moore (Perversion)
Starring – Kaley Ball, Keni Bounds, and Arian Thigpen
Release Date – 2016
Rating – 3.5/5
Tagline – “God hates you”
Indie horror has heart and no one can say differently. They may lack budgets but they more than make up for it with originality, style, and charm…for the most part. A few years back I was contacted by director and actor Chris Moore to check out and review his filmPerversion. The film was dark and atmospheric but I was lost in the story. I really wanted to like the film, at least the style of it, but I just couldn’t get into it.
A year or so later I was searching for trailers on YouTube for the slasher Curtains when I came across a video review of the film. It was on the Horror Baby channel and I was hooked. The review was honestly better than the film itself. I was shocked to discover that Horror Baby was Perversiondirector Chris Moore. We became friends on Facebook where he has reported that he is working on several horror films. The first to be completed is Blessed Are the Children. A friend of Chris’ reached out to me to review the film. Thanks guys for letting me check it out.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows Traci (Ball) who is friends with benefits with a pre-med student. She really likes him but he refuses to give her the time of day. Instead, he finds other girls to have serious relationships with. After a nightly hookup, she discovers she is with child but can’t keep the child on her own. She visits the local clinic to have the child aborted where she runs into creep protesters wearing baby masks. She’s creeped out by the sight but is able to shake it off and return home but she soon learns there is something dark hiding behind the mask and her and her friends will pay the cost for her actions. **Spoiler Alert**
I didn’t know what to expect fromBlessed Are the Children. The artwork and few images that Chris shared on Facebook made me think the film was a religious thriller set to the tone of the murder mysteries of the 70s. I could get behind that but the film was not that at all. It may have been influenced by those kind of films but it was much more than that.
I absolutely loved the acting in this one. You can look back at all my other indie, no budget reviews and you can count the times I’ve said that on one hand. This cast was brilliant and Moore did an amazing job casting the film’s three female leads. A quick search on IMDB shows that these three beauties had no acting experience in film but I find that hard to believe. They were amazing and hit every mark which is rare for an indie actress with no experience. These three must have worked on the stage before. They all three had great chemistry together and were just as talented as they are beautiful.
The story for this one is heavily impacted by modern day social issues while having the look and feel of the 70s slasher Alice, Sweet Alice. The film follows a beautiful young lady in an unconventional relationship with a guy and finds herself pregnant is something you rarely see in modern horror films. Most try to be traditional so a majority of the viewers can associate with the characters. I really enjoyed this approach and loved it even more so that we have another female character trying desperately to have sex and another that is openly a lesbian. This brings the characters into 2016 and not 1990.
The addition of the abortion and extreme religious protesters hits even more social issues that should not even be a thing in this day and age. All these tossed in the middle of a stylish slasher works very well. Sadly, it wasn’t a who done it murder mystery I was thinking it was but it was still a fun watch. I do have two complains in terms of story. One was the pacing. Some of the scenes were just a little too long. They needed to be cut down drastically. The second is the masked killers. I want to know more about them. We needed a little more backstory to really sell that angle.
Finally, this will shot indie horror film has some solid kills. Moore and company did not let budget constraints come between them and the on screen deaths. The kills we do get are very well shot and use camera tricks and cuts to get the desired effect. A few are actually pretty brutal and graphic while using minimal practical effects and lots of blood. Overall, Blessed Are the Children is what you get when you cross horror with taste. The film looks great and doesn’t let budget hold it down. Its a well written horror film that looks great and brings the blood. This film has one of the best casts I have seen in a horror movie and some great tension. If you want a slasher with suspense, you found it.