The Horror Honeys: Is that a demon in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Is that a demon in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

A Supernatural Honey Review by Suzanne

Mercy (2014)

Blumhouse Productions is the reigning champion of bland, clichéd horror. They’ve become a factory of sorts and recently dumped a bunch of new releases on Netflix. Once such film is Mercy, a direct to DVD/VOD release from early October, starring Chandler Riggs. Since the movie claims to be based on a Stephen King short story and because I also have sort of a sad affection for The Walking Dead’s Carl “Stay in the House” Grimes, I decided to give it a whirl.

George (Riggs) has a very close relationship with his grandmother, Mercy (Shirley Knight). Everyone else in the family thinks she’s crazy and stays away from the homestead unless necessary. Mercy suffers a stroke, but due to her violent tendencies, cannot stay in the nursing home. She is sent back home where George, along with his mother and brother, will be responsible for taking care of her, however, as her condition worsens so does her violence, resulting in several tragedies. Mercy only responds to George and he is determined to help her, as well as get to the bottom of the rumors surrounding Mercy’s past.

It seems Mercy made a little pact with a demon by crying into a book when she was a young woman because she wanted children and “God” didn’t see fit to give her any. After giving birth to three kids, her husband took his own life by way of an ax, which basically makes Mercy a certified nutter. George’s mother (Frances O’Connor) was lucky enough to leave the nest at an early age, but that loss was too much for Mercy and she drove her other kids to drinking and a mental institution. Apparently, the demon wants George although it’s not abundantly clear why. Then again, maybe I wasn’t paying attention. My interest began to wane about halfway through the film.

There is a subplot involving George’s mother and married photographer, Jim Swann (Dylan McDermott), that goes absolutely nowhere, but is somehow tied into the demon’s needs. It ends very badly for Jim. George also has an imaginary friend, referred to as “the girl next door” who he talks to when things get tough. There is also a dog spirit who hunts demons. That shows up a couple of times. Essentially, it’s a mish-mash of nonsense.

There are no real complaints regarding the actors. They did the best with what they were given. The problem stems from the fact they are nothing more than set pieces that mostly get in the way of the story between George and Mercy, with no real merit. 

Riggs’ character was likeable and sympathetic, but I’m not sure if that’s due to acting or just his nature. Of course, anyone who is current with this season of The Walking Dead will notice that Riggs is considerably younger in this movie, even though it was just released. That Mercy has been sitting in limbo for a couple of years in the Blumhouse back rooms is a testament to the quality of the film.

The opening credits and IMDb will tell you this film is based on the Stephen King short “Gramma” from the Skeleton Crew collection, but Mercy bears very little resemblance to the original story. The filmmakers even pay a sad homage to the writer by naming the nursing home the R. L. Flag Home for the Aged. Oy.

Chandler Riggs seems like a sweet kid, who will hopefully have a career once TWD is over for him, but he needs to be a little more selective when choosing movies. Let’s just hope the producers of TWD don’t decide to kill off Carl anytime soon. 

Supernatural Honey Verdict: 2 weeping books out of 5