Grace is a twisted look into the realities of family life. We have exaggerated looks of a nurturing mother, a monster-in-law, and some glimpses of a feminist lesbian. There’s an obvious role for gender in this film as almost all of the characters are female (If they are male then they died or were killed) Madeline, the mother, so desperately wants to have a baby, and that desire mysteriously led to a zombie baby that no matter how weird or creepy it gets, she still fights to keep in line with it. We see a defiance of standing conceptual schemes of being a mother. Normally we have a baby being breast-fed with mother’s milk, a baby not being surrounded by flies while it sleeps, Grace though is a baby who craves for blood, a baby who is surrounded by flies as if she was rotting. Madeline may have had a preconceived notion of what her duties of a mother would be, but when forced with this change, she had to adapt, and instead of forcing the norm unto Grace, Madeline adapts to it, putting up nets in Grace’s crib, and even letting her drink milk. I think the horror that makes this film so disturbing is the desire and desperation of the mother to give life to her daughter no matter how crazy it is being.
Related to that is the mother-in-law, Vivian. From the start of the movie it is clear that she doesn’t seem to like or respect Madeline. We can infer that it may be because she took her son away from her. Add to that being in an accident, killing the husband, she lost her son forever. I think some sort of familiarity, unfamiliarity, familiarity is related to Vivian. As she ages, her maternal instincts are somehow repressed because she has no more channel for it anymore. We can see that sometimes she treats her son like a baby, pampering him, but when he dies, her channel is completely cut. So when Madeline has Grace i think it made her unable to contain herself. It leads to the horrifying moment of her performing oral pleasure with her husband.
I think all the women in the movie are obsessed, we see the two mothers obsessed with having that baby to take care of and fulfil their duty. Then we have Patricia Lang obsessed with her past relationship with Madeline. Add to that Patricia’s assistant who seems to be obsessed with her boss enough that her actions lead to wife not having any help. The obsessions that these woman have cause so much destruction in their surroundings, to their relationships with people. When Madeline’s husband died, it seems strange that she isn’t so depressed about what happened, she had her miraculous baby and after that, she never seemed to think about the husband anymore, I’m guessing she treats him based on his function. We see at the start of the film that they are procreating, no passion, no frills, just sex. Stone cold. In and out. Done. She seems obsessed with having the baby. Vivian doesn’t seem to mind her husband anymore as well. Patricia seems so obsessed with her former lover, Madeline that she can’t function without her, that she can’t seem to stop looking at their picture and some eventual stalking. The assistant so obsessed to keep Patricia away from Madeline that she keeps her away despite the risk of the safety of both Grace and Madeline. So we see that it’s not Grace that’s the monster, she is just used by these so-called humans for its function, to fill a certain need. And because of their obsession they do monstrous things that outweigh what Grace does. That’s the real horror of the film, Grace. That… or the horrific cliche of lesbians at the end of the film.