Wednesday, January 6, 2010

IT'S ALIVE

An ill-conceived (!) 2008 remake of the classic 1974 Larry Cohen low-budget shocker, IT'S ALIVE features Bijou Phillips (HOSTEL PART 2, VENOM) as the mother of… a monstrous killer baby.

That’s pretty much all the synopsis the film needs. But where Cohen’s original film worked as an effective, if technically crude, thriller, this entirely unnecessary remake falls down on almost every level. From bleak Bulgarian locations attempting unconvincingly to pass as the intended New Mexico setting, to a supporting cast of English and European actors with inconsistent accents, to an overall lack of tension or suspense, the remake fails to create the necessary suspension of disbelief essential for an effective horror film.

The movie also fails to make its homicidal infant remotely scary – in the original, it was depicted as a demonic, fanged and clawed monster (courtesy of a young Rick Baker), where here it’s hardly shown at all, and when it is finally revealed, it is represented by decidedly sub-par CGI. Phillips actually manages a mostly decent performance for the first part of the film, but once her character starts to realize what her precious has been up to, the actress starts to overact to the point of unintentional comedy.

First Look Studios has brought IT'S ALIVE to disc in an unrated edition, featuring an unexceptional 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and a 5.1 Digital Surround audio mix. There are no extras provided beyond a few previews of other First Look features.

Not recommended.

BUY: It's Alive