Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

IT'S ALIVE (2008) unrated

IT'S ALIVE (2008). Director: Josef Rusnak.

In this remake of the 1974 film, about a couple whose baby is a mutant maniac, the parents have been made twenty or so years younger -- characters in horror films these days must always be twenty-somethings -- and don't have a son but a nephew in a wheelchair. One improvement this has over the original film is that the deaths of the hospital staff are treated as a mystery and not immediately attributed to an infant, which makes a lot more sense. In spite of this, it doesn't make sense that the parents aren't a little more upset over what happened in the operating theater. One bit of confusion is how the parents and others can look at the child -- who doesn't run away but is taken home by its parents -- and think of it as "normal" [see photo] -- does the baby mutate just before it goes into attack mode and look okay all the rest of the time? -- this is never made clear. The mother, Lenore (Bijou Phillips), is a bit of an airhead, and covers up for the baby's attacks, which are much, much gorier than in the original movie. James Murray plays the father, Frank, and Owen Teale is Sergeant Perkins. There are some good scenes, and a fairly exciting climax.

Verdict: A remake that ultimately isn't better than the original despite some refinements. **1/2.

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