Fall of Grace (2017)

After a teen girl befriends and is taken by a demonic entity, her parents react in wildly different ways with her mother turning to drinking and her father doing all he can to get her back. How far is he willing to go?

Written by Gerald Crum and directed by Michael Crum, Fall of Grace is a very dark demonic possession film with little to no light throughout. It’s heavy and clearly meant to be so that the viewer can connect with the father and his plight. The story is well done overall but a few scenes feel out of place, like they were not really needed. These happen here and there and include a fight scene at the start of the film that can only be considered exposition, being there to show how the lead is a tough guy. Outside of that, the scene comes off a bit like unnecessary fluff like a few other scenes do along the way. The rest of the film works best when the story stays on the father and not as much on the second part, that of the exorcist. This leads to an uneven film with some strong sections.

The cast of Fall of Grace varies widely in capacity and talent. The best parts of the independent, very low budget film are Joshua Winch as Jase, the father mentioned above, and Shanon Snedden as the Cage Head Demon which is half performance related and half special effects related. Winch is the lead here and he does well as the sometimes conflicted, always determined father working toward pulling his daughter out of hell and out of the clutches of the demon that is wrapped around her soul. He carries the film well and his performance grounds the story in a level of realism that helps the film connect with the audience. While the performance is not perfect, it’s more than most will expect from a film with this kind of budget and experience behind it. Another good performance is that of Sheri Davis as Tracy, the mother, who gives another side of losing a child, the other extreme of sort. Her performance gives off a feeling of utter sadness and desperation, perfect for the situation and character. The rest of the cast unfortunately is very uneven in their performances, ranging from decent to cringe-worthy.

The special effects makeup and visual effects here are done well with a good attention to detail within budgetary limitations of course. The Cage Head Demon is a lovely gruesome sight and has got to be a not to the Thirteen Ghosts remake as it looks very similar as one of the ghosts’ designs but is used differently. The effects on this specific piece are fantastic and they show a good level of talent from Gerald Crum who handled the effects, both practical and visual, for this film.

The images that bring this to the screen are shot with cinematography by Michael Crum who edited with Gerald Crum. Here the framing is good and it works but the images are often too dark or oddly lit, giving the viewer difficulty following the action on the screen and seeing details that could greatly enhance the story. A little more light could have gone a very long way and help bring the viewer further into the story.

Fall of Grace is an interesting film as long as it stays on the father trying to save his daughter. The other parts are not bad but definitely not as strong or impactful. The lead does good work here and gives a performance that pops out of the darkness, both figuratively and literally. The special effects are good and add interest. Overall, Fall of Grace is an uneven film with one part of its story making up for the other and making it worth checking out the film.