Blessed Are the Children is a slasher flick with an intriguing hook. Imagine if the Westboro Baptist Church ghouls who gained notoriety for their vitriolic protests of abortion clinics and funerals stalk a young woman who terminated a pregnancy and attempt to break into her house and murder her and her friends. Oh, and they do all this while wearing creepy Purge-style baby masks.
Yeah, that sounds like an idea I can get behind.
Blessed Are the Children
Director: Chris Moore
Release: October 23, 2018 (VOD, DVD)
Traci (Kaley Ball) is a college student recently separated from an abusive fiance who then finds herself pregnant with his child. While she waits at an abortion clinic, a baby-masked protestor bangs on the window holding a sign that reads “God Hates You.” She’s promised these fanatics are harmless, but this is a horror movie, so they’re actually an organized cult of murderous psychos. Surprise!
As Traci returns home, the psychos follow her, and they begin to taunt and torment the young woman. They leave a plastic baby doll outside her house and make disturbing calls ala Black Christmas, while also attacking Traci and those around her.
With knives and razor blades as the cult’s chief implements, the violence is bloody and brutal. The actors often react with stiff movements and tepid yells of pain and terror which lack the guttural extra layer needed to ground each moment and make it feel truly horrific though. Added to that are bargain basement splick and splat sound effects that rob the stabs of meaty penetration.
About an hour through, the film abandons its central concept of abortions and allows these baby-faced killers to murder on the grounds of any perceived sins, which is a shame since Moore didn’t explore the idea of slaughtering for the blessed children as deeply as he could have.
That said, the soundtrack strikes that straight-to-VHS 80’s slasher nostalgia just right, which the budget matches, and several shots of these killers slipping behind their victims are subtle and well-framed. Blessed Are the Children may not offer unrelenting horror where it needs to most, but its concept is strong, and it has a few images and moments that may give you the shakes.