Deadly Blessing PosterTitleDeadly Blessing (1981)
Director: Wes Craven
Runtime: 100 minutes

With the recent passing of Wes Craven, I’ve decided to make his filmography, minus the hardcore porn he used to make, my next completion project. I firmly sit at 77% of his filmography viewed, so I don’t have too many to watch. I figure I’ll finish them up in chronological order.

Deadly Blessing was the first one I hadn’t seen before. I actually hadn’t even heard of this film before Mr. Craven’s passing. It’s about a woman whose husband is mysteriously killed by his own tractor. The couple lives near another community that believes in curses and ancient evils, giving Deadly Blessing a clear Amish-cult vibe going for it, something I don’t think I’ve seen done in a horror film before. I’ve seen cults before, but the Amish factor is definitely weird, and it’s not in the same vain as The Children of the Corn series, which is just atrocious and not recommended (check out my series review on that right here).

Deadly Blessing start off s-l-o-w. It felt like I was revisiting the Amish country, which, for the record, is a beautiful and fun experience, but I wouldn’t say it was thrilling by any means. I’m not sure if Wes Craven truly has a “style” that is showcased here, as we get the beautiful, naked bodies of an early ’80s horror film, plus some weird plot twists. If anything, Deadly Blessing knows how to create a sense of dread. We see things as they go down, instead of quick jump scares. The film’s highlight, for me anyway, was a scene in the bathtub. What starts off as a sexy, legs open bubble bath, turns into what can now be known as my worst fear. I won’t ruin it, but the tension, brief humor, and then just awfulness of it all hits hard and fast. There are a few other great moments sprinkled throughout, if you can get past the first twenty minutes.

The only cast member I recognized was Sharon Stone. Well, to be honest, I didn’t actually recognize her, but the person I was watching the movie with instantly pointed her out. Everyone does a fine enough job, and I really couldn’t point out anyone as a weak link.

Is Deadly Blessing a great film? No, but I enjoyed it, and am glad I took the time to view one of Craven’s lesser known films. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but the slow build does pay off. While the last three minutes go awry, I enjoyed the films second and third acts a lot.

Deadly Blessing is available to watch for free on Amazon Instant Video if you’re an Amazon Prime member.


Chris Ranson
Film Critic at Cinefessions
Chris was raised on horror films, which gave him a deep love for the genre, especially its most quirky and offbeat titles (like A Nightmare on Elm Street 2). This love quickly turned into an obsession for cinema in 1997, when he decided he needed to see every major theatrical release. Video games (JRPGs), reading (anything but fantasy), and reality television (Survivor) are just some of his other passions. He's been with Cinefessions since 2013, and has been writing reviews all over the internet for the past twelve years.