With teenage pregnancies on the rise and baby mothers going on trash TV talk shows to get DNA done on the dads, it would seem there was no way to prevent the prepubescent public reproducing.
One way to thwart them not tried would be to sit them all in a room to watch It’s Alive. After watching Josef Rusnak remake of the 1974 killer baby cult classic, I would guess they might all be scared into crossing their legs and getting a goldfish instead.
The story follows pregnant Lenore (Bijou Phillips from Hostel Part II) who drops out of college to move in with her boyfriend Frank (James Murray) at his
remote cabin in the woods. Suddenly going into early labour she is rushed to hospital where heavily dosed with drugs she blacks out, only to awake in a blood covered room, littered with dead doctors, annihilated nurses and her newborn son quietly sleeping on her belly.
Once home, things spiral out of control as the police pester her for answers she doesn’t have. And her sweet innocent child starts to develop a taste for blood that she can’t do anything to satisfy.
Working like a killer Knocked Up or gory Juno the films plotline departs from the original by keeping demon spawn and distraught mother together. The result is that we get a slow start and subtle scenes which build and lead to Lenora’s disturbing realisation that her newborn is a murderous monster. All stylishly filmed and very well done.
Credit goes to Phillips whose performance is excellent. Capturing the true horror of the film in her unhinged looks, trapped in that no matter what her terrifying tyke’s is or does she can’t help but love him. This means she must tidy up the mess he leaves which here is not Lego bricks and Play-Doh but mutilated birds and half chewed rats.
The rest of the cast are good, especially Murray and British TV staple Owen Teale, who plays Sergeant Perkins as if he was channelling John Wayne.
The special effects for the bouncing bundle of brutal bludgeoning are well done. Starting out by showing very little, upping the creepiness and delivering at the end with some glorious gore.
Rusnak is a competent director and there are a few moments of real style and flair. He creates a disturbing and unsettling mood but delivers enough jumps and carnage to keep everyone happy. The story is also well crafted and the explanation too junior psycho’s behaviour is held back till midway through the film making keeping you guessing.
Although it’s a remake It’s Alive is well worth checking out and takes its place alongside Born, Rosemary’s Baby and Cronenberg’s brilliant The Brood in the cot-sized niche genre of baby horror movies.
Additional film information: It’s Alive (2008)