Itís remake time again my friends, and the movie being remade today is Larry Cohenís 1974 semi-classic ĎItís Aliveí which of course is about a killer baby on the loose. Now I havenít seen the original in an awful long time but I donít remember watching that movie and jumping up from yelling ĎThis needs to be remade!í Donít remember doing that. Not that anyone cares what I think but itís been done anyway and here it is.
Meet Lenore Harker (Bijou Phillips) who is a few months along with child and has made the critical decision to leave grad school a little early to have her baby, much to the chagrin of her bitchy roommate Marnie (Ty Glaser) who obviously hates babies. So Lenore motors off to some dusty New Mexico looking town to stay with her babies daddy Frank (James Murray) and Frankís crippled up baby brother Chris (Raphael Coleman).
Later that day, even though it is nowhere near time, Lenore goes into labor. Lenoreís doctor is a bit surprised a woman who is six months along is carrying a full term baby but as the doctor states; ĎThis baby wants outí. So our team of medical professionals dolly Lenore in the operating room and before you can say Ďcesareaní little Daniel is born and as a bonus for their hard work, everybody in the operating room is slaughtered.
The police would really like to know how this happened, I mean itís not like Lenore couldíve done it since she was sliced open and drugged out of her mind when the murders occurred. So while the cops try to sort out this mystery Lenore and Frank take their beautiful little baby home.
But thereís something about little Daniel. For starters the little bugger is always hungryÖ I mean really, really hungry. Then it looks like heís doing stuff newborns generally shouldnít do such as roll over, sit up, grow talons, teeth, crawl through heating ducts and devour wild life, household pets and house guestsÖ generally speaking of course.
Still mommy loves her hungry little baby, despite the fact this hungry baby is totally abusing the hell out her left titty. Itís almost as if Lenore feels guilty about something or another. Eventually itís becoming clear that something is seriously wrong in the Davis household, considering that people who visit are never seen again. Even the babies daddy is starting to wonder about his little son with the talons for fingernails and the razors for teeth. I donít think Dr. Spock covered this particular situation.
A word to describe director Josef Rusnakís remake of Larry Cohenís movie would be Ďinertí. Itís competent enough a movie in the sense that it is reasonably well acted and well paced and itís an incredibly brief movie running at under 80 minutes which includes its opening and closing credits so itís not going waste too much of your time. But maybe because it is so brief it just feels like thereís nothing there in this movie.
For a movie about a killer baby, the baby gets almost no screen time, and while the baby does do an awful lot of killing and we do get to see blood fly all over the place, but with the possible exception of one scene we donít really get to see the killer baby do any of the killing. And since the movie was so brief itís not like there was any time to develop any of the characters outside of the Bijou Phillips character, so when these folks start dying it really has no impact.
I did observe that actor James Murray did have an issue keeping his British accent in check to the point where I wondered why they just didnít make the cat British since his nationality was neither here nor there.
So this remake of ĎItís Aliveí wasnít scary, the filmmakers played the movie completely straight so it wasnít funny even though there was some unintended humor that you can glean from its brief running time on occasion, and outside of glossing over the point that Ďabortion is badí it didnít have any kind of wacky social commentary that the 1974 original had. Itís a completely inert movie. It has served no real purpose other than to lightly entertain and employ some people. Thereís a three minute trailer floating around on the Internet of this movie which kicks ass and truth be told is way more entertaining than the movie itself, so if you want to be more entertained and save yourself 77 minutes in the process check out that long trailer because this remake is about as disposable and pointless as remakes get.