In need of Divine Intervention
Bless The Child
Review by Ross Anthony

Kim Basinger performs poorly in her 1970's TV colorless role as a nice beautiful nurse that inherits a big problem. Raising her strung-out sister's abandoned daughter, Basinger is oblivious to the powers of the little one. But Eric Stark isn't; in fact, his pact with the devil has put him on a mission to kill kids born on the same day as Basinger's niece (paralleling the birth of Jesus story).

But Basinger's character is boring. And Cody (the child) is completely unscripted except for her powers - so we never really get terribly attached to her. Though, for sure, Holliston Coleman is cute. Unfortunately, the dialogue throughout the film is without memorable lines (at least I can't remember any). Just a string of standard sentences necessary to tell the story which is a patchwork quilt of movie/TV cliché: (Here are five that I recall.)

  1. Gargoyle overlooking the city.
  2. Jamaican woman foretelling the future.
  3. Mexican Nanny.
  4. Irish Catholic wise old one in a wheel chair.
  5. Heroine falls on train tracks - gets up just in nick of time.
  6. Heroine's vehicle crashes on bridge, teeters on edge, driver escapes just as it's falling, and of course, it explodes even before plunging into the water below.

But the film was graced with the acting prowess of Angela Bettis and Rufus Sewell (the bad guy). Jimmy Smits (good guy cop) was just swell as well. So that was good. A couple of special effects stood out, namely the image used in the trailer where the old woman bangs on the subway window as she turns into a ghoul - that's extremely striking. The bedroom full of rats scene will have goose bumps crawling all over your skin like ... well, rats. And the little girl is darling. Oh, the actual climax almost captured some spirit. It sparkled for a second there, but even with only two minutes of resolution the picture managed to squander our attentions again.

In conclusion, these few positives were no match for a feature length production of stale dialogue with a weak protagonist.

  • Bless The Child. Copyright © 2000. Rated R.
  • Starring Kim Basinger, Jimmy Smits, Rufus Sewell, Holliston Coleman, Angela
  • Bettis, Ian Holm, Christina Ricci, Dimitra Arlys.
  • Directed by Chuck Russell.
  • Written by Tom Rickman.
  • Produced by Mace Neufeld and Straton Leopold at Paramount.


Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:19:15 PDT