Fall Of Grace


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Fall Of Grace
"Astonishingly incoherent as it is, the film does achieve a certain degree of immersiveness, if only because there's really no other way to relate to it."

Jase (Joshua Winch) wants his little girl back. He never took her seriously when she talked about the Mouse Man - he thought she was just referring to an imaginary friend. Or he didn't think much at all. His partner worries that people will think they're bad parents. Perhaps that's unfair - they never guessed that their child was being targeted by a predator - but their home is as much of a mess as they are and everything about them has that character that social workers politely call 'disorganised'. Jase is the first to admit that he has fallen below the standards he might have set for himself.

Now that the child is gone, Jase is determined to retrieve her at any cost. You might think you've seen this film before. But the predator here is not a paedophile or a human trafficker - it's a demon. And when Jase becomes convinced that the child is in Hell, the only solution he can come up with is to summon another demon and demand its help. Let's just say that this not very well laid plan doesn't work out as intended.

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There's something to be said for films that give social outcasts their moment in the spotlight, and for films that recognise that not everyone dabbling with devilry is going to have thought it through. The problem with Fall Of Grace is that the same approach seems to have been taken to making it. Visually, it looks like strung-together offcuts retrieved from the cutting room floor after several people have walked on them. The best that can be said of the performers is that they can apparently remember their lines; they wouldn't be out of place in a telenovela, yet lack the passion that might have won the film a camp following. Writer Gerald Crum may have realised that the script was too short for a feature because he's padded it out heavily with repetition.

Crum also stars as a disgraced priest who comes to Jase's aid. This provides an excuse for some incoherent moralising and random snatches of choral music. Jase beats his partner (it's okay because she's possessed), symbols get drawn on the floor, giant fires blaze in the background (which director Michael Crum, handling his own cinematography, has no idea how to balance), and our heroes roll around on someone's lawn a lot for no apparent reason. When the power of shouting proves insufficient for controlling dark forces, Jase enters into a terrible bargain. The real horror of the scene is that it feels like watching somebody sell double glazing to a three year old. Wouldn't demons get bored if it were all this easy?

Astonishingly incoherent as it is, the film does achieve a certain degree of immersiveness, if only because there's really no other way to relate to it. It is probably best watched whilst inebriated or under the influence of glue. Despite its failings, one comes away with the sense that somebody cared about it, and almost feels that they should have a prize for getting as far as they did. One can only hope that it was a learning experience.

Reviewed on: 16 Nov 2017
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Fall Of Grace packshot
A father, Jase, deals with his daughter claiming to be seeing a person in her room nightly she calls Mouse Man. Until one day Mouse Man takes her to Hell.

Director: Michael Crum

Writer: Gerald Crum

Starring: Joshua Winch, Sheri Davis, Gerald Crum

Year: 2017

Runtime: 84 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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