Wes Craven Collection: “Deadly Blessing” (1981) Review


On Saturday night I watched Deadly Blessing (1981) for the first time. This was just another random movie that I picked from the collection to watch. I own the Arrow Blu-ray of this movie since earlier this year. Deadly Blessing was directed by the late, great Wes Craven. He will always be my favorite horror director of all-time. The trailer of the movie looked fairly good, but my expectations weren’t that high.

I’ve seen Deadly Blessing and while it’s good, it’s definitely not great. This movie simply doesn’t reach its full potential and I feel that more could’ve been done with the premise. The acting performances are above average. I liked Maren Jensen, Sharon Stone, Susan Buckner, Ernest Borgnine and Michael Berryman in their respective roles. The performances felt very nuanced and every actor had their moment to shine with the material they were given, even though some were shockingly underused. Sharon Stone surprisingly stood out with her role of Lana. Her acting was very stale in the beginning of the film, but as the story progressed she only got better. Wes Craven once again did a bang up job in both the writing and directing department and that results in some beautiful exterior shots and some fantastic camera angles. Deadly Blessing contains both moments of wit and suspense. The soundtrack is nothing short of brilliant and the twist at the end definitely took me by surprise. Highly unnecessary, but effective none-the-less.

I learned that Craven originally created a different ending, but the producers intervened and it got changed. The style of this movie is very poignant and gorgeous. I was constantly entertained throughout and even a bit frightened at certain moments. There were some slow moments that took on forever, but it did make the characters less one dimensional with the added development. For those who pay close attention, there are some clever nods and homages to Craven’s earlier and later work like Summer of Fear and A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Deadly Blessing is nowhere near the same level as Scream or ANOES, but it’s an original and unique little horror movie from the early 80’s. Recommended.

–Ferdi Akkulak