WELCOME TO MERCY (2018) Reviews and overview

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Welcome to Mercy is a 2018 American horror feature film directed by Tommy Bertelsen from a screenplay by Kristen Ruhlin. The Forma Pro Films/Global Creative movie stars Lily Newmark, Eva Ariel Binder and Eileen Davies.


When a single mother begins to experience symptoms of the stigmata, she seeks the help of a local priest and nun to help understand what is seen and unseen…

Reviews [may contain spoilers]:

” …its impact evaporates so swiftly that its message is unfortunately as negligible as the overall experience. Viewers tuned to its pseudo-soap opera style may find more entertainment value while those burned out by similar spook stories are likely to remain underwhelmed.” Culture Crypt

” …director Tommy Bertelsen delivers a film whose unevenness is forgiveable in light of its underlying creative vision. Though it doesn’t achieve its potential, there’s a lot here to provoke the curiosity of the viewer and Ruhlin’s committed performance provides the stormy narrative with a solid anchor.” Eye for Film

“Bertelsen sidesteps redundant subgenre bound-to-beds-writhing The Devil Inside or The Last Exorcism rely on, but what’s embraced still feels frozen in time save one bloodsoaked awakening. Welcome to Mercy is too listless a tale of motherhood and monsters for its good. Score, cinematography, intent – it’s all so muted and subdued to a detrimental degree.” Flickering Myth

Welcome to Mercy is a powerful effort from a talented writer (who hopefully has more work in her) and a director who handles the proceedings with competence and a technical eye. It’s not for the impatient crowd, but if you have patience and a philosophical soul, you’ll be rewarded with a real gem that could be classified as the thinking person’s light possession film.” Horror Talk

This is a well-crafted film that is admittedly quite effective in the moment, but the abrupt and untidy conclusion does not pay-off on viewers’ considerable investment in the preceding madness. It is better than most lazy exercises in low budget horror, but Don’t Go with Stephen Dorff is much more successful at blowing apart and then magically re-assembling reality.” J.B. Spins

“Overall Welcome to Mercy is an eerie, well put together film. It doesn’t rely on jump-scares and instead concentrates on the peril of the players within its construct. Many will be left scratching their heads just a little though and it will be this that will divide its audience.” Mother of Movies

“The story burns slowly, where every look and word is questioned. The moments of pure horror come in flashes, only to have Madaline wake up after, completely disoriented. Past and present become blurred as the truth unfolds. The final twist reveals the true nature of the demon that will surprisingly warm your heart after undergoing so much dread. The cliff-hanger ending unfortunately left me infuriated.” Nightmare on Film Street

“Realistically, the most exciting thing about Welcome to Mercy isn’t its exceptionally creepy scare scenes—ever wonder what the world looks like according to a victim of possession?—but rather its creators’ thoughtful consideration, not only of how it feels to be abandoned, but also what it feels like to understand why you were seemingly left behind.” Simon Abrams, RogerEbert.com

“Though Welcome to Mercy demands a genuine nod of respect, the melancholia that drips from its pores may prove a little too wearing for the casual horror fan, while those in the mood for a weighty rumination on Catholicism with a hint of the supernatural are likely to feel short-changed too. It’s a tough sell and an even tougher recommendation…” The Schlock Pit


IFC Films released Welcome to Mercy in theaters and VOD November 2, 2018. It will be released on Blu-ray by Scream Factory on March 5, 2019.

Cast and characters:

  • Lily Newmark … August
  • Sophia Massa … Willow
  • Eileen Davies … Mother Superior
  • Kristen Ruhlin … Madaline
  • Toms Liepajnieks … Young Father Joseph
  • Dainis Grube … Young Frank
  • Victoria Sokolova [as Tori Sokoloff] … Boat nun
  • Marta Timofeeva … Young Madaline
  • Ieva Seglinav… Alyona

Film Facts:

The film’s original title was Beatus

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