Deadly Blessing (1981) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Deadly Blessing (1981) Review

Horrorific content by adrian on August 27th, 2020 | Movie Review | Slow Burn, Supernatural, Religion, Drama, 80's Horror

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It's about a widow who gets stalked by both her Amish neighbors and some kind of weird supernatural entity.

Deadly Blessing was directed by Wes Craven (who also directed Scream 4, My Soul To Take and Cursed) and stars Sharon Stone (from Sphere and Diabolique), Jeff East (from Last Breath and Pumpkinhead) and Ernest Borgnine (from The Devil's Rain and Willard).

Pray you're not blessed.

Deadly Blessing was Wes Craven's 4th movie... well, his 3rd real movie. The 2nd was just a porno he made to finance The Hills Have Eyes. His first was The Last House on the Left

Deadly Blessing hits you right off the bat by how tame it is. It barely touches the horror genre, it's more of a dramatic thriller, like a Halloween episode of Little House on the Prairie. But it probably only feels tame because we're talking about WES CRAVEN here. His prior 3 films all involved rape and incest. Then all of a sudden he releases Deadly Blessing, a totally family-friendly soap opera.

The movie follows a farmer working in the middle of Amish country. One day the farmer dies, by the hand of his possessed tractor, and suddenly his wife has to run the farm on her own while being antagonized by her Amish neighbors, one of whom seems special and keeps calling her an incubus. For those of you who didn't have supernatural sex ed in school, an incubus is a demon that bangs you when you sleep. It's also used to refer to general distress or nightmares, but I guess being raped by a demon would be a little of both. Hey wait.. just realized that Wes wasn't quite able to leave the whole rape thing alone, even in this tamest of movies! Of course, there's no actual incubus in the story, so maybe he was just calling this poor widow a nightmare.

So, the widow calls her friends from the city to come stay with her, one of whom is played by Sharon Stone, yep, this Sharon Stone. From this point on much of the movie is just a group of women in sexy lingerie lounging around drinking wine and chatting. There's the occasional ominous religious rant by the Amish patriarch, but mostly it's just lingerie lounging and wine drinking. Not a lot of farming.

An hour in and this movie is a snore fest. There was an entire scene dedicated to a grown woman making another grown woman a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, with milk!! And they were both wearing lingerie. I've read a lot of reviews by guys who absolutely love Deadly Blessing, I'm just wondering how old they were when they saw it. My guess is they were around eleventeen when eating PB&J's with animal crackers while flipping through a hot Victoria's Secret catalog was totally normal. 

There's of course a few cool scenes, one in particular was straight out of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Well, that movie actually came out three years later, so it had a scene straight out of Deadly Blessing. It's the scene where Nancy is falling asleep in the bathtub right as Freddy's glove pokes out of the water between her legs. In Deadly Blessing, it's a snake instead of a glove.

Other than that there's a few nightmare sequences that are kinda cool at first but start to feel repetitive after a while. It's as if Deadly Blessing was some kind of warm up for A Nightmare on Elm Street. 

To be fair, I went into this expecting something intense like Wes' other work. So from that perspective it was a let down. Maybe for people who like slow thrillers it's fine. I just found it to be strangely out of sync with other Wes Craven horrors. 

Worth Watching?

I know a lot of you out there love this movie, but I personally found Deadly blessing to be deadly boring.

Deadly Blessing Review (1981) Worth Watching? - ALL HORROR Tweet it

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