Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Bless the Child

I'm not in the habit of recommending horror films, but then this isn't really a recommendation, and I'm not sure that "Bless the Child" is really a horror film ....

The premise is that a satanic cult wants to use a young girl to - well, kind of be a new power in the cult. Unlike Omen (which I saw bits of a long time ago, and which most of the reviews relate the film to) the girl is a force for good - in other words, from the perspective of the film, "God is working through her" in a kind of supernatural way.

The superpower/supernatural stuff is generally superstitious twaddle. But there were a couple of things that caught my attention, and meant I saw the film through to the end.

There was the intervention of "angels" who actually looked like normal people - but who would do something that made a difference - and then disappear ("entertaining angels unawares"). There was the fact that the six year old girl was put in a horrible situation of being pushed to decide between good and evil, and despite the awful threats that accompanied it, chose good (preventing somebody from killing themselves) - well, I suppose that was inevitable, but it was nice to see genuine moral choices having to be made. There was the fact that this film was presented in a world in which good and evil were real - unlike the "postmodern" world in which good and evil are thought to be arbitrary and relative. There was the comment made about many new-age cults that although many of the adherents don't believe there is anything sinister about them, the message (that you can write your own rules) is in fact profoundly anti-Christian. There was the fact that, whereas Christians are normally portrayed in such films as being ineffectual do-gooders who come up with the wrong solutions, the Christians in this film - generally Catholic, inevitable I guess as they are the people the world most recognises as Christians (which included the FBI agent! A Christian role-model in a secular job!!) were realistic and their prayer portrayed as effective - and in fact it was the child's guardian who, by refusing to let them help in the way they wanted to, seemed to consistently be risking the child.

So lots to discuss - if you can put up with the general scariness and preposterousness of the rest of the plot.

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