Deadly Blessing (1981)

Deadly Blessing (1981)

“In the rolling hills of a sinful farm community, untouched by time, a gruesome secret has been protected for generations.”

A recently widowed farm owner (Maren Jensen) is considered an “incubus” by the local Hittite religious community, which resents her for having married one of their own. When her city friends (Sharon Stone and Susan Buckner) come to console her, they are all at risk of being murdered.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Christianity
  • Ernest Borgnine Films
  • Horror
  • Murder Mystery
  • Wes Craven Films

Response to Peary’s Review:
This “odd little horror film” by Wes Craven — in which “the peaceful setting belies the fact that someone or something is murdering people” — neatly exploits the placement of a sympathetic protagonist in a hostile, alien environment. There are many moments of genuine terror and suspense (Stone in the barn, Jensen in the bathtub), and it’s never clear who will be targeted next by the mysterious murderer. Unfortunately, this otherwise entertaining thriller is ruined by a tacked-on supernatural ending, which effectively discounts the psychological horror that has buoyed the rest of the film.

Redeeming Qualities:

  • Ernest Borgnine, cast against type as Martha’s stern Hittite father-in-law
  • A beautiful, deceptively “peaceful” setting

Must See?
No, but it’s recommended up until its incongruous final scene.


2 thoughts on “Deadly Blessing (1981)

  1. I first saw this age 14 on HBO and it scared the heck out of me. Seeing it again many times over the years I think itโ€™s a solid genre outing from the late Wes Craven. He uses landscape especially well in this and the mise en scene is well evoked. Decent performances help and I also like the full on supernatural ending and an early score from the late James Horner.

  2. First (and last) viewing.

    We’re not supposed to be on the lookout for logic in a film like this. Still…

    A young woman’s husband is horribly murdered. He was the only reason she was living in the somewhat-isolated place that she’s in. Her in-laws (religious fanatics) hate her. What will she do for a job? Money? Friends? And she’s pregnant. For what possible reason would she want to stay? …She’s an idiot.

    Her two ex-college chums come to comfort her. They offer to take her away but she asks that they just stay for a week and she’ll be fine. …Then a bunch of terrible things begin to happen to them. And they still stay. …They’re all idiots.

    Skip it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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