New parents, Lenore and Frank, bring their baby Daniel home from the hospital after Lenore experiences an early c-section. Though they think their child angelic, this could not be farther from the truth. Daniel is not your average infant.
It’s Alive (2008) is a modern remake of the Larry’s Cohen 1974 original movie by the same name. I was excited to see the remake because the original was the first horror film I had ever seen. I remember covering my eyes throughout the entire movie cause I was petrified. That’s what happens when you’re too young to see a horror film. The baby, with it’s long claws and razor sharp fangs is an image I have never forgotten.
I couldn’t wait to see if this updated version surpassed the original in the scare department. It didn’t and I was extremely disappointed.
In the original Lenore and Frank, an ad executive, were played by older adults (in their 30′s), an average family, in an average home, not young twenty something’s. In the remake Lenore (played by Bijou Phillips) is a graduate student, who looks 19, who leaves school to give birth and Frank (Raphael Coleman) is the young architect father. They are a really pretty couple, in a really nice large Sante Fe-eqsue home in the boondocks. Far far away from everyone.
In the current story, Lenore brings baby Daniel home and all seems right in the world. Did I mention this was after the massacre in the delivery room. However, Lenore doesn’t remember anything that occurred, she only has flashbacks of splattered blood and dead people littering the floors in the hospital delivery room. When Lenore finds baby Daniel eating a bloody bird or seeing a dead half eaten bloody rabbit keeping the baby company in its crib, you would think Ms. New Mom would realize something is wrong with angelic Daniel. Quite the contrary. She just spirals deeper and deeper into denial to the point where audiences will agree Lenore is worse than the child. It’s laughable.
The blood and gore that occurs is pure overkill, the acting is yawn-worthy, and the editing technique was amateur, with scenes ending in a redundant fade out. Some scenes were so short, they were useless in their storytelling. I could go on but it would be a brutal bashfest.
From what I can recall, the original was quite scary and if I saw it today, probably cheesy in effects, but hey…it was the 70’s. HOWEVER…it had some sort of thought provoking back-story to it. There was the underlying theme of toxins and pesticides prevalent in society that could cause mutations, there was a father’s metamorphosis from wanting to kill the child to being its savior, and there was the greed from every angle of society having something to gain from capturing the baby. All of these motifs would have worked brilliantly in the remake because these themes are still prevalent today.
The original version had the infant flee the delivery room on it’s own and a huge manhunt ensued. Without this, it changes the entire concept of the film. The remake takes away any real structure and just gives us a deranged and delusional mommy protecting her killer baby. It’s like watching the movie ‘Grace‘, which was better than this dreck. The updated version’s reason for the infants’ “state” is beyond simple, it just insults our intelligence and does the original a huge injustice.
I’m sorry to say but this film is a definite D-!
Rating: 2/10 stars
Running time: 85 minutes
Below is the original films movie poster and an alternative (true classic 70’s film posters).
If you notice there is no appearance of the babies face only the ominous crib and the those creepy hands, definitely more chilling that the remake poster.