Chris Moore’s country-fried slasher Blessed Are The Children is a spot on representation of Southern attitudes towards dating, marriage, politics, and most controversially, abortion. Shot in Jackson, Mississippi which is so Southern there’s a country song written about it, Blessed Are The Children tries to take a new stab at the slasher genre. In some ways, it succeeds, but in others, it really doesn’t.
Blessed Are The Children follows Traci Patterson through an incredibly rough period in her life. Her father passed away four months prior; her ex-fiance beat her while drunk, and a guy she’s been seeing is a total garbage human that she can’t seem to get over. She has support from her friends/roommates Mandy and Erin, and endless nagging from her mother. Let me say, one thing that is 100% spot on in this film is the character of Stephanie Patterson, Traci’s mother. She is the prototypical naggy overbearing mother, who has no boundaries and no qualms with continually reminding Traci of her mistakes.
“…there are legions of them…and eventually, they start killing in the name of JESUS!”
Traci finds out early on in the film that she is pregnant and like so many women do every year for a myriad of reasons, she decides to get an abortion. As is the case in nearly every abortion clinic all over the country, there are protestors standing outside. In this case, they are wearing possibly the creepiest baby masks I’ve ever seen, and there are legions of them. Traci starts to see them more and more and eventually, they start killing in the name of JESUS!
It’s not entirely unrealistic to expect avid anti-abortionists to resort to violence. There have been several cases, most famously domestic terrorist Eric Rudolph, who was from Florida (what a surprise) and perpetrated several hate crimes including the Atlanta Centennial Park Bombing, which I seriously only missed being in the exact same spot where the bomb went off by a week. There are people filled with hate, misguided by some sort of mental defect, who feel as though what they’re doing is of religious service. This does a severe disservice to plenty of people of faith who would never do such things.
I won’t go further into the plot because there’s no way to do so without spoiling a good deal of the film. I can say that Blessed Are The Children was definitely shot on a very small budget, and I think that Chris Moore did a good job at shooting within the parameters he had. However, the practical effects are nothing to write home about. I have a hard time deciding if this was on purpose as some kind of send-up of vintage horror films, or if it had to do with a lack of experience. I’m not trying to be a snob here, but I know that better practical effects can be made on a limited budget. There are some scenes where the blood effects are much more believable than others, which is confusing to me.
“The ending, however, is pretty awesome.”
There are also some performances in the film that are a little lackluster, but thankfully there are two great performances by Keni Bounds and Arian Thigpen who play Traci’s best friends. They’re funny and believable characters that you want to root for throughout. Additionally, I can say that Blessed Are The Children has a great concept and a story that is great in places, but there are some choices that Moore made that don’t make a lot of sense to me, which include killing a character he probably shouldn’t have way too early in the movie. The ending, however, is pretty awesome.
I really wanted to give this movie a higher rating than what I’m going to, but the film was just a little inconsistent. This is most likely due to inexperience since Moore’s follow up film Triggered is much better. I would say watch Blessed Are The Children first and then watch Triggered to see the progression of Moore’s writing and directing abilities.
Blessed Are The Children (2018) Written and Directed by Chris Moore. Starring Kaley Ball, Keni Bounds, Arian Thigpen, Jordan Boyd, Michael Kinslow, David Moncrief, Cheryl Abernathy.
6 Out of 10 Stars