Mercy

2014

Mercy (2014)

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A single mom and her two boys help take care of their grandmother with mystical powers.

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Critic Reviews for Mercy

Audience Reviews for Mercy

If you know me, then you know I'm not exactly the biggest Walking Dead fan. And this is talking strictly the television series, I have not read the comics. But I have played Telltale Games' first two seasons of The Walking Dead video game. The first season of the game was better than anything the television series has ever done. I actually cared for the characters. But one of the things I cannot complain about when it comes to the Walking Dead, the tv series, is the casting. Some of the dialogue may be crappy, but the cast does do quite a good job. But, and this wouldn't be a surprise as well if you know me, my least favorite character in the series is Carl. Part of that is the scripting, but part of that is Chandler Riggs' performance. Don't get me wrong, he's not bad (though he's not the most talented actor in that cast), but there's something off-putting about how he acts as this character. And, as irrational as that may seem, some of that dislike travels with you even when you watch something completely unrelated to the Walking Dead. But, thankfully, Riggs' character in this movie wasn't overbearing and he, quite frankly, did a pretty solid enough job in this movie. There's obviously not much to the character other than the fact that he's close to his grandmother, but he's perfectly fine. The problems I have with this movie are completely unrelated to him. Conceptually speaking, this is actually quite an intriguing movie. Rebecca, Buddy and George (Riggs) go back home to take care of their ailing grandmother (mother in Rebecca's case). The grandmother used to be vital and active, but when they go back they find her barely able to do anything by herself. She can't speak, she can't move, she needs all sorts of injections to help her. But, things turn strange when the grandmother starts acting out violently and sometimes speaking in tongues. This is what surrounds the mystery of the narrative. What exactly happened to Mercy, the grandmother, that made her the way she is now. Of course, it's something that goes back over 50 years. Mercy, unable to conceive, makes a deal with this...power (or something, I'm not quite sure what she was) in order to be able to become a mother. But she has to give up the good in her in exchange of it. The change is minimal, since she's carried this supernatural being with her for over 50 decades. But, bit by bit, the power is slowly taking over her. This escalates once she's taken back to her home to 'die in peace', as it were. Sounds intriguing, right? And, really, it kind of is. The problem I have with the movie is that it's super short. So they have to rush through a lot of it, so you never really get a sense of how bad this curse actually is and how it has affected Mercy's life. They certainly attempt to do so, but I feel that the story could have done with a little bit more expanding. This is problematic when, in the third act, a close friend of the family, who's in love with Rebecca, reveals that the grandmother promised Rebecca to him. And I was totally confused, because they don't actually bother to explain what this was about in any way, shape or form. With a little more time, they could have expanded as to what he meant and what the point of her promising Rebecca to him was. As such, it's just a throwaway line that serves no purpose other than to muddle things up. There's also a sister, Rebecca is part of triplets, who is privy to what's going on with Mercy but, again, it only muddles things. They do attempt to explain what is going on in the last section of the film, but, again, with so little time they do so very haphazardly. You're never quite sure as to what happened, why it happened or why you should care. And that's a shame because, again, the movie is conceptually interesting and I feel that they could have done so much more with this if they took a little more time and care in constructing these characters. Honestly, this isn't bad at all, even if it hits all the familiar supernatural notes. The cast is surprisingly strong and I'm quite surprised that, as far as I can tell, there was no major release for this film in theaters. Maybe it had a limited run in a few theaters, but I hadn't heard about this film until I saw it pop up on Netflix, seemingly, ages ago. It's really irrelevant, though, the film's presence, or lack thereof, on the big screen has no effect on its quality. But I don't know how to rate this movie. It's got a good concept, but so-so execution. But I wouldn't say it's average. I guess that, at best, I'd say that this was an ok movie. Its flaws are too numerous to ignore, but I'm sure one could do worse than this. Point Break remake, anyone?

Jesse Ortega
Jesse Ortega

Super Reviewer

Thoroughly underwhelming horror that brings nothing new to the table, and fails to do its rehashes any real justice. Only Dylan McDermott has anything to offer, and his role is minor. Chandler Riggs in the lead proves to be on par annoying with his role in The Walking Dead, if not worse, and the story should never have been stretched to even this (thankfully short) runtime (eighty minutes).

Gimly M.
Gimly M.

Super Reviewer

½

I guess it was only a matter of time until someone put little Carl (Chandler Riggs) from the Walking Dead in a movie. Mercy is that film, and it is based on a short story by Stephen King. There is a reason this was a short story, there wasn't enough to make an entire book out of it, so what made them thing there was enough for a full length film? Rebecca, George, & Buddy are going to spend time living with their grandmother at her cabin in the woods. She is a sick old woman and it's only a matter of time, but she isn't a candidate for the nursing home, because she is psychotic. While caring for the old woman, George (Riggs) finds some mysterious occult stuff, that lead him to believe his grandmother isn't psychotic, but possessed. This film is everything that is wrong with the Horror movies of today, because it's not scary, different, or even all that interesting, it's more stupid than anything else. For most of the movie, nothing happens, except for this kid walking around testing his theory, but what does it matter, the old woman is going to be dead soon anyway right? Chandler Riggs stars and I really don't care for him as an actor. I realize he's just a kid, but Riggs is always playing some whiny loner, looking for help. Some people might find it cute or endearing, to me it's just annoying, especially in a film where he's the lead. The rest of the cast was underutilized, especially Super 8's, Joel Courtney, who is a terrific young talent, I would have liked to see more of. Mercy is written by the master of horror and stars two of TV's top young stars, but it was a story that never developed into anything, and is buried in some massive Stephen King short story anthology. This is not the kind of story that should have ever been turned into a film. I don't say it much, but this time I really believe that Mercy was just a waste of 90 minutes that I will never get back.

Todd Smith
Todd Smith

Super Reviewer

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