Early thriller from Wes Craven is a truly twisted tale of rural horror. When a farmer is mysteriously killed by his tractor, his wife and her visiting friends are terrorized by someone...or something. Deadly Blessing is a prime example of a horror film that's powered by eerie atmosphere. The story has many different kinds of horror elements feeding into it; psychological horror, slasher film, supernatural, religious horror. The rustic Texas filming locations are perfect to the foreboding nature of this movie. James Horner's weird chant-like music score is effectively creepy. Craven's direction is solid, as the film builds some tremendously suspenseful shock sequences. Yet Deadly Blessing is light on gore, this film relies upon far more skin-crawling terrors like spiders, snakes, and ominous dark figures -with knifes. Sure, many people complain about the strange left-field ending but over all it doesn't hurt the film as bad as some people make out. After all this is the kind of horror film that runs on 'nightmare logic'. The cast is pretty strong. Maren Jensen, Susan Buckner, and a young Sharon Stone make for a lovely trio of leading ladies. Veteran actor Ernest Borgnine is intimidating as the leader of a sect of religious fanatics. Douglas Barr is good as the ill-fated farmer, as is Jeff East as his morally confused younger brother. Deadly Blessing is an undervalued horror film that should appeal to horror fans who enjoy their films firmly on the strange side. *** out of ****
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After her husband dies under mysterious circumstances, a widow becomes increasingly paranoid of the neighboring religious community that may have diabolical plans for her.
February 27, 2021