After Mercy becomes extremely ill, her daughter Rebecca moves her sons George and Buddy to care for her. We learn quickly that George possesses strange abilities like his grandmother and his aunt. These powers allows him to see and speak with spirits and also helps him find a mysterious Weeping Book that his grandmother had possessed. The discovery of the book eventually leads George down his family’s witchy past.
The story is based on the short story “Gramma” by Stephen King. There was also a New Twilight Zone episode by the same name also based on this short story. Both the short story and the television adaptation differ greatly form the ending of this film. Honestly, I found this ending of this film far more satisfying than the previous versions. I also liked how this movie introduced new characters like Pastor Luke and the Girl Next Door into this macabre tale.
There were stellar performances by everyone in the cast. Dylan McDermott, Frances O’Connor, and Mark Duplass’ characters were easy characters to follow. And I was quite impressed with Chandler Riggs’ performance. This surprised me too, because I’m not a fan of his The Walking Dead character. But Riggs pulls off a wonderful performance as lead actor. Only to be outdone by Shirley Knight, who solidified the movie for me. Her Mercy was both heartwarming at times and darn right creepy at others.
The film did not scare me though. It very much had the feel of a Stephen King story though (with heavy doses of Lovecraft thrown in). The horror is about the fear that younger people have when facing a dying elderly person. The awkwardness of the hug that grandma gives you. This point was reinforced with the events that took place while Rebecca was picking up Mercy from the nursing home. Also typical of Stephen King stories, a lot of the bad decisions are sometimes made for noble intentions. Family is a huge element in King’s material, and I was very happy to see that in this story as well.
Overall, the story was slow to start, but eventually it get interesting. I give this film a 3.0 out of 5, meaning I liked it and I would actually be willing to watch it again.