We Still Say Grace refers to the custom of giving thanks to God for the food on the table before tucking into what has been prepared and spread out before you in much the same way that Prince Andrew probably thanked Jeffrey Epstein (‘You’re fired!’ – Ed). Here it is Harold (Bruce Davison) a devout man who has taken his religious beliefs to the extreme to such a degree that we first encounter him goading his wife and two daughters into a suicide pact as they drink poisoned wine so as to be with their maker. It’s turns out to be worst joke since someone quipped, ’Hey, do you fancy running for president?’ to Donald Trump.
Harold is a mid west farmer on a remote farmstead miles from anywhere with no telephone or car and twisting biblical tracts to his own ends and though his daughter Sarah (Rita Volk) is wholly enamoured with whatever her father says his other daughter Maggie (Holly Taylor) is far less convinced and is increasingly resistant to her father’s over zealous interpretation of the Bible. It’s when three students arrive at their house by foot asking for help with their car and its two burst tyres that the tension starts to rise with Harold only too happy to help seeing it as a sign from God that they have been sent to him to be saved. Offering them hospitality and a hot meal it becomes clear to the students that all is not well with Harold in the most uncomfortable meal since a Bill Cosby dinner date. when one of the students has a fit and they all stay at the house overnight their suspicions about something is awry is conformed when they see Harold doing something no father should be doing. From there it becomes an escape mission with Maggie seeing it as a means of getting out too as she uncovers a truth about her and her sister’s past.
We Still Say Grace is very much a one man showcase for actor Bruce Davison in the main role of the cult like leader Harold with all the other roles merely there to service the plot. Davison has appeared in a huge number of films with an Oscar nomination to his name for ‘Longtime Companion’ back in 1989 and he is a great character actor but never really getting that breakout role that he deserves and We Still Say Grace isn’t going to change that even though it’s a film built round his performance. In many ways it is similar in theme to the late Bill Paxton’s 2001 directorial debut ‘Frailty’ about a religious fanatic of a father and like that film We Still Say Grace turns quite dark in its final act. It’s not helped by dialogue from co writer’s Brad Helmink and John Rauschelbach with such clichéd stalwarts as, ‘This can’t be happening!’ or when one character asks an injured other, ‘Are you alright?’. This is their second feature in 12 years after making a number of shorts films in the interim and there is enough to sustain interest over its 94 minute running time.
Here’s the trailer for We Still Say Grace…….
WE STILL SAY GRACE is out on DIGITAL DOWNLOAD on 3rd MAY 2021