To be honest, among all the movies we have watched in the class, Grace is the one I least consider to be a horror movie. While I do consider it a good movie, I hesitate to put it in the “horror” genre. I understand that it was shown in the horror film class for a reason, but in my personal standard for a good horror movie, Grace just does not cut it.
There are a number of aspects about Grace that make me question its legitimacy as a horror movie. I have to explain beforehand my standard and understanding of a good horror movie. I am the kind of horror fan who loves the scare factor more than anything else when it comes to watching horror movies. While I love movies that have both an intriguing plot and the thrill aspect, I prefer horror movies that make me scream in terror over ones that make me think until I understand it. For me, an ideal horror movie is one that leaves the audience screaming and terrified, above all else. If I wanted to analyze the characters and the idea behind the plot, then I would rather watch a psychological rather than a horror movie. I do realize that a lot of horror movies contain substantial and controversial issues, but that still does not change the fact that I love watching this kind of movie primarily to be scared.
I think that it is for this reason that I hesitate in considering Grace as a horror movie. I admit that I can see the horror in it, especially when the grandmother had sex with her husband while thinking of her son and granddaughter, but I did not realize that until it was discussed in class. I do not want to have to discuss a movie before I understand what is terrifying about it. By my standard, any movie that fails to scare me without need of reflection is not a horror movie; while Grace is technically a horror movie, I personally do not consider it to be one.
First, the concept of Grace herself is controversial. In watching the movie, I can state that she is an “undead” child, meaning that the midwife declared her dead when she was born, but for some reason she came to life and started breastfeeding when her mother held her. In a common horror movie, the “undead” are seen as flesh-rotting, aggressive and instinctual monsters. However, Grace is a healthy-looking baby and even behaves like a normal infant. Second, it was never explained in the movie how she got to be like that or why the people around her did not seem bothered by the fact that she was (or still is) dead. Even though that contributes to the horror in the movie, the almost instantaneous acceptance of the bizarre situation by the characters makes the plot more confusing rather than intriguing. Third and last, the cinematography makes it difficult for me to consider Grace as a horror movie. The way in which the story was illustrated did not work for me because I got lost in the vagueness of the situation and the peculiarity of the characters’ behaviors. In essence, I was not able to figure out the horror aspect in Grace and would more likely consider it a psychological film than a horror movie.