Goodnight Gracie, Impactful Short Deserves Full Feature Treatment
Director: Stellan Kendrick
Writer: Stellan Kendrick
Release Date: TBA
Release Format: Streaming
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 4 Minutes
When Christ-loving eight year old GRACIE startles awake to a loud BANG, she assumes it’s just mom and stepdad at it again downstairs. But a blood-curdling scream suggests something more sinister, so Gracie grabs a flashlight and heads to the landing to investigate. She gazes in terror at the sight of her mother’s body hacked into a grizzly pile of gore. Her stepfather locks eyes with her, ax in hand. Gracie flees to the sanctuary of her room. Rather than fight back physically, Gracie desperately calls upon Jesus to banish the evil from her house.
Goodnight Gracie has completed production. A release date has not yet been announced.
Gracie gets awakened from her sleep to a startling sound. With hesitation, she gets out of bed to investigate. Only to see her Mom brutally murdered by her stepdad, an ax-wielding maniac. She flees into her bedroom, grabs her bible, and hides under the cover. The ending is terrifying.
Goodnight Gracie has an amazing plot. Caige Coulter and Courtney Gains are spectacular in their performance. They are the heart of the film. Gains plays a psychotic man and a convincing one at that. He invades a house, butchering the Mom. Zoë Simpson Dean does a very convincing job as the Mom. You can sense her pain at the cruel hands of this cold-hearted killer.This commotion awakens Gracie, and when she sees what’s going on, she gets terrified. You can sense her fear in her eyes and her body language. Coulter does an amazing job given her youthfulness and the circumstances.
The concept for Goodnight Gracie is spectacular. There is so much mystery in the story not explained in the film itself. There are quite a few questions not answered. What happened between the Mom and the stepdad? Why did he invade the house? What was his motive?
There is also the question if whether he was a good person who was being possessed by an evil entity, given the film’s subtle religious undertones. Gracie looks to be religious. She sleeps with her bible at night. She has religious statues on her bed stand. With this in mind, Billy and the stepdad seems to be the same person. Does this make for a good personality/bad personality trait?
The makeup and special effects are amazing. The scene where Billy is butchering the Mom is horrific. Even more shocking is Gracie discovering her mother’s pain and agony as she is being murdered right before her eyes. That scars her, and it shows well in her reaction.
The film has an accompanied by a dramatic theatrical background score that intensifies the experience. The camera angles are centered and up-close, which is great for this film. These angles are key and appropriate for the overall tone, this is a dark film.
3. In Conclusion
Goodnight Gracie is dark, brutal, and terrifying. In just over 3 minutes, the story intrigues you, and the outcome shocks you. The ending has intensity, but it cuts out, and for good reason. I would love to see this short film adapted into a feature-length film and expanded with the characters and their backstories to explain it all further. From what’s given, you can speculate that something drastic has led up to these events. What happened is unknown.
The synopsis explains it is an evil presence, which is noticeable in the film but it would be nice to see this all play out on the screen.
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