“Mankind’s last hope just turned six.” Ah, if only Bless the Child had followed the lead of its own poster tagline and not taken itself so seriously, it might’ve at least ended up a camp classic rather than the all-but-forgotten B-movie it actually is; unfortunately, the film’s almost psychotic dedication to its own preposterous premise renders it laughable for all the wrong reasons. Kim Basinger (looking beautiful but confused at 47) plays Maggie O’Connor, a New York nurse whose hectic yet lonely life takes a sudden turn when her sister Jenna (Angela Bettis, once again called upon to look simultaneously sullen and freaked out) abandons her newborn autistic daughter, Cody; six years later, the kid (played by Holliston Coleman) ends up being the daughter that Maggie never had — and, unfortunately, the key player in some sort of elaborate scheme conjured by a group of Satanists (led by Jenna’s creepy new husband, played by Rufus Sewell) to bring about the end of the world. Bless the Child is one of several (rather awful) religious horror films that came out in 1999-2000, along with Stigmata (the one with Patricia Arquette and Gabriel Byrne as a priest), End of Days (the one with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gabriel Byrne as Satan) and Lost Souls (the one with Winona Ryder and‚ honestly, we don’t remember anything else about it) — Hollywood seemed to turn not so much to religion but absurdity at the turn of the century.
New On Netflix: Bless the Child
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