The Bad Seed (1985)

Article 4497 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 4-7-2014
Directed by Paul Wendkos
Featuring Blair Brown, Lynn Redgrave, David Carradine
Country: USA
What it is: Evil child on the loose

A widow begins to suspect her young child has homicidal tendencies… and she may be right.

This movie has a lowly 5.4 rating on IMDB, and if the user comments I found are of any indication as to the reason why, it appears that a lot of people object to the 1956 version of the story being remade at all, as well as to the performance of Carrie Wells. Well, for those who have read my review of the original movie version already know, I am no fan of the original movie, and I’m rather grateful that another shot was taken at the story. For one thing, it was nice to see a version of the story in which the acting was toned down for cinematic consumption, rather than the self-conscious theatrical approach of the earlier version. Second of all, it was in this remake that I grew to appreciate that the real emotional center of the story was centered in the mother, who is desperately trying to come to terms with the reality of the situation; quite frankly, I cared a lot more for Blair Brown’s rendition of the character than I did Nancy Kelly’s. It was also nice to see that they jettisoned the silly deus ex machina ending of the earlier version; I like the ending of this one much better. Granted, this version has its problems; it’s still a bit long-winded at times, and though the setting is contemporary, there are moments where it feels a bit too trapped in its fifties mindset. No, I don’t really think this version is a classic, but at least it didn’t annoy the hell out of me like the original did.


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