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Deadly Blessing

Deadly Blessing (1982)


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Release Date: Apr 14, 1982 Wide



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Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 657

My Rating

Movie Info

Deadly Blessing, a disappointing effort from famed horror-film director Wes Craven, tells the story of a woman's fight against a religious cult which will not stop at murder. Martha (Maren Jensen) lives alone near a conservative, repressive religious cult led by Isaiah (Ernest Borgnine). Martha's husband was murdered under mysterious circumstances after he left the cult. Martha and her two visiting friends Vicky (Susan Buckner) and Lana (Sharon Stone) find themselves being pressured to live in

United Artists



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All Critics (8) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (1) | Rotten (4) | DVD (3)

One of Wes Craven's best films, an oddball but often scary thriller mixing elements from religious, slasher, snake, spider and monster flicks

July 11, 2005 Full Review Source: Slasherpool

Craven misses the mark with this one.

March 19, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Deadly Blessing

Wes Craven has had a long and illustrious career in the horror genre, making some of the most legendary films that would ultimately chill you to the bone. Over the course of his career, he has made a few films that are sadly not as well known as others in his filmography. Swamp Thing was one such example, the other is Deadly Blessing. Although not one of Craven's best works, this is still one of his most underrated works, and I quite enjoyed it for what it was. The film relies on atmosphere to create the tension unfolding on-screen, and it offers up an entertaining horror experience. I really don't see why Deadly Blessing got so much flack as it has plenty of effective elements going for it. The cast is good and there are some surprising performances here. The film is much better than one might thing, and though it's not Craven's most stellar picture, it's certainly not his worst either. The best performances of the film were probably that of Sharon Stone and Michael Berryman, who is an icon of the genre and who always manages to be creepy in his performances. The film tends to deliver enough scares to satisfy your horror needs and even if it's nothing truly remarkable in terms of truly engaging horror, Deadly Blessing is a worthwhile viewing for Wes Craven fans. The effects are very well done, and add to the thrills that the film provides. For what it is, this is a well crafted film that should be seen if you love supernatural horror and it is not nearly as bad as critics have claimed it to be. The performances are good, the script is interesting and the plot is entertaining and it deserves to be rediscovered. If you come across this film, give it a shot as it is an overlooked horror flick that has been overshadowed by Wes Craven's later work.
January 24, 2013
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

A tame but fairly decent effort from Wes Craven. The film doesn't provide much of a body count or gory detail for splatter fans, but it does well building suspense and moments of creepiness and sets up a very good finale with an unexpected turn in the plot. It's not the most talked about Craven film but it's definitely worth a watch.
December 8, 2011
Lee ?

Super Reviewer

Not bad, it was entertaining I must say.
December 11, 2009
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

Anyone who has seen this film to the end will probably tell you this: Deadly Blessing is one weird little movie. But that doesn't stop it from being suitably creepy and entertaining.

Deadly Blessing is one of Wes Craven's earlier efforts, made after Last House on the Left and The Hills Have Eyes, but before Swamp Thing and A Nightmare on Elm Street. In fact, a lot of it seems like a prototype for what would ultimately become Nightmare-- there is a vividly surreal dream sequence featuring an ominous shadow-man, a scene in which one girl describes a similar nightmare to her friend the following morning, and a sequence in which a snake pops up between a woman's legs in a bath tub, which is replicated almost shot-for-shot with Freddy's glove in Elm Street. But unlike that subsequent film, this is (for the most part) a much more down-to-Earth sort of horror-thriller, with a mysterious figure running around stabbing people to death in a way that almost feels reminiscent of the first Friday the 13th. And it's also possibly one of Craven's more personal works, as it revolves around an extremely religious sect of farmers called the Hittites (basically they're like the Amish, but more strict) who shun the outside world and whose God-fearing ways color the story throughout. Craven himself was raised in an extremely orthodox religious environment, and so one gets the impression that this film was a way of working through his conflicted feelings about religion and "straying from the path". The film itself is engaging, if slow-paced, and features a surprising range of familiar faces-- most notably, this was the first screen appearance of Sharon Stone, but it also features Jeff East (who played a young Clark Kent in Superman: The Movie) and, bizarrely enough, Ernest Borgnine, who delivers a surprisingly solid performance as the glowering Hittite patriarch. But more than anything else, what you'll remember about this film is the complete head-spinning "WTF?!?" ending, which makes a complete tonal 180 in the last three minutes and forces you to reevaluate everything you've just seen. Whether the movie earns this sudden about-face is debatable, but whether you like the ending or not, the fact remains that Deadly Blessing successfully holds your interest long enough to get you to it; it's a solid suspense thriller with more than its fair share of chills.

(more to come)
December 24, 2012

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