Mercy – 2 out of 5
I could sit here and blow smoke up your backside and claim that the reason I watched this film is because I’m a big Stephen King fan and Mercy is an adaptation of one of his short stories. However, that would be a lie because I’m more of a passive fan of King. I’ve never read any of his works but I do enjoy some of the adaptations of his stories. I could even sit here and tell you that I watched this film because the trailer or synopsis sold me but that would cause my pants to spontaneously burst into flames because that would be a giant lie. I honestly never watched a trailer and didn’t know what it was about until I quickly looked it up on IMDb only seconds before the film started. The real reason I gave Mercy a chance is for no other reason than I heard that little Carl Grimes from The Walking Dead did a horror movie and that was enough to pay the On-Demand price tag.
|"Listen up, Coral...I'm going to tell you about The Shiva..."|
|"You're my best friend, Gam-Gam. I hope you never have|
a demon inside you that tries to kill me...and I hope I
never get real friends."
George (Chandler “Coral” Riggs) is really close to his grandmother Mercy (Shirley Knight). However, Mercy ends up getting really sick and George is forced to not see her for some time while she lived in an old folk’s home. Eventually, the retirement home refuses to keep her because she’s a problem, so George, his mother (Frances O’Connor) and his brother Buddy (Joel Courtney) are forced to move into Mercy’s old home and take care of her. Soon, George learns that Mercy has a shady past and supernatural forces come into play and its revealed that Mercy made a deal with a demon and now that demon is out to get George…
|"Mom, we've called this meeting to discuss not the demon that has infected grandma but|
the fact you gave us both the same haircut."
The story to Mercy is pretty standard horror stuff—there’s nothing really new or exciting going on with it. However, I’m not saying that it’s boring and old hat either. The story promises an average horror experience that may not change the meaning of what scary is but it is something that could work in a pinch when you want something spooky. In fact, the story in the film isn’t really the problem. While the story definitely needed a little more development, it really doesn’t waste a lot of time with exposition or needless back-story. After the initial set-up, the film wastes no time with getting to the insane, demon-filled stuff and doesn’t let up. There was no patiently waiting for the terror to build, no scenes that involve Coral padding out the running time by slowly walking towards an eerie sound, and no mild scares coming into play before the Third Act shit-hitting-the-fan-fest. Nope, aside from some minor build up that involved getting to know Mercy’s past, the film just goes right for the “HOLY FUCK, THE EVIL IS COMING FOR US” part of the film. This is actually the strongest part of the film—it never gets boring and never lets up once the terror starts.
|Gawh! What is wrong with that man's penis?!?|
The biggest problem the film had was the fact that the terror isn’t really that scary because you can barely see it the entire time. Darkness and shadows are a given with scary movies and, sometimes, being unable to see the action helps submerge the viewer into the whirlwind the protagonist is going through but, at the same time, it can also toss out a viewer because you literally have no fucking clue what is happening because all you can see is a hint of the character and a whole lot of darkness. That’s what happened in Mercy.
|Of course, there was always just enough light in order to capture Dylan McDermott's|
smoldering good looks.
While Mercy looks creepy as shit in her demon grandma form…
|Oops, wrong photo. She actually looks adorable in this picture.|
|"Give nanna a kiss!!!"|
The effect comes too late because I just had to sit through a sequence of George running through the house in total darkness and I literally had no clue what was happening. I think—I THINK—there was a sequence of him running up some stairs and I know there was a sequence that involved getting a winter coat, a warm hat, and a flashlight because he suddenly has these things after I couldn’t see him for a few long moments. It’s a minor complaint but something that really took me out of the film—it’s hard to be into the film's story when you really can’t see what is happening.
|I think there's something going on here...|
Besides not being able to see shit for a lot of the climax of the film, Mercy isn’t that bad. It has a decent story that is interesting enough to be watchable and the acting is really good. It probably could have achieved my average score of 3 out of 5 if some more care was taken with lighting and just making more of the movie actually visible but, as it stands, the movie is okay but not okay enough.