Bless The Child
R
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -1

Its been six years since her drug addicted sister, Jenna (Angela Bettis), showed up on Maggies (Kim Basinger) doorstep with a baby. Now, the apparently autistic Cody (Holliston Coleman) is like her own daughter. Taught in a Catholic school for special needs children, Cody begins to demonstrate unusual powers. But Jenna returns with a new husband, Eric Stark (Rufus Sewell), head of a New Age drug rehab program. Reluctant to suddenly interrupt Codys life with new parents, Maggie is alarmed when Eric kidnaps Cody. Maggies police report grabs the attention of FBI agent John Travis (Jimmy Smits), an expert in occult-related crimes. Hes investigating murders of six-year-old children, all who share Codys birthday. Audiences will be drawn in by the exciting action, but BLESS THE CHILD may be more religious than theyre ready for.

This tense mystery-thriller carries a definite message that theres more about good versus evil than meets the eye. Like a Frank Peretti novel, the film gives glimpses into the unseen world of dark spirits guiding evil acts. Eric often refers to Satan as his lord, while one character tells Maggie that Cody is destined to bring people to God. Hoping to turn her to evil, Eric even copies a scene from the temptation of Christ, holding Cody on the ledge of a high building. Biblical and spiritual references occur throughout the film, beginning with the appearance of the Christmas Star for the first time since Bethlehem. While Cody could be considered a Christ figure, she makes references to baby Jesus when Eric talks about Satan. Agent Travis also refers to being a seminary student before finding another way to fight evil. The Bible is a prominent feature on his desk. Unfortunately, the film uses several obscenities and some scenes of gruesome violence, including a decapitated head falling from a body. While evil acts are done by evil characters, our guidelines require a negative acceptability for BLESS THE CHILD. But the strong message in the film should encourage more mature Christians and offer opportunities for discussion.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Distributor: Paramount Pictures, 5555 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038

Summary
Crude Language: Several times - Mild 3, moderate 3
Obscene Language: Several times - F-word 2, s-word 3, other 1
Profanity: Once - Exclamatory (OMG)
Violence: Many times - Moderate and severe (hits on head, shoves, kicks, decapitated head falls off body, gun threats, knife threats, knitting needles stuck in eyes, animal killed, car wreck, threats to a child, man burned, stabbing, shootings)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Few times drug paraphernalia, cigarette smoking, man injects drugs for woman
Other: Many references to Bible passages, angels and prayer, rats overrun room, occultic images, man worships Satan, druid chant used, Reference to seminary, Catholics and faith referenced positively, evil acts referenced to evil spirits
Running Time: 110 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and adults

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