It's Alive (2008)
Film: It’s Alive
Director: Josef Rusnak
Writer: Larry Cohen, Paul Sopocy and James Portolese
Starring: Bijou Phillips, James Murray and Raphaël Coleman
This film begins showing us that we are at a college. Students are taking a test and we follow one of them back to the place that she stays at, she is played by Bijou Phillips. She is pregnant and is moving out to move in with her boyfriend. Her roommate is bummed to see her go; she is played by Ty Glaser. She is helping her pack and is concerned that Phillips will not finish her graduate degree that she has worked so hard for. While they are working Glaser’s boyfriend shows up; he is played by Arkie Reece.
Phillips’ boyfriend is played by James Murray and he lives out in the middle of nowhere. This film takes place in New Mexico. He lives with his little brother, who is played by Raphaël Coleman. He is wheelchair board and he has been living here since their parents died. Coleman was hurt in the car accident and will not be able to walk.
As Phillips is unpacking, she decides to take a shower. She starts to have pains from the baby and screams out for Murray. They go to the hospital. Murray is concerned about Phillips and meets with the doctor, played by Todd Jensen. Murray asks if he can go back to see her and is informed that he cannot. Apparently the baby has doubled in size since their last visit and is coming now. It is too big to be born normal so they have to do a caesarian section. It is also odd because the baby is only 6 months old.
Phillips knows there is something wrong, but the doctors and nurses continue to put her at ease. The baby is removed and it is healthy. It cries and then we hear screams. We see a nurse who wasn’t involved in the birth go into a closet next door. As he leaves, he noticed there is something on the bottom of his shoes. He goes back inside and looks through the window. We see that all of the doctors and nurses have been mutilated. No one survived except Phillips. The baby is cuddle up on her.
Murray happens to see as they are wheeling her down the hall. Phillips is awake and they both want to see the baby. They are leery about doing so, but they do assure them that the baby is fine. They can’t see him yet as he needs to be cleaned off.
The police officer in charge of this case is played by Owen Teale. He visits the couple in their room, but Phillips doesn’t give much information. Teale understands, but still tries. He does ask if she will meet with a psychologist to see if there is possible a repressed memory. She agrees, but wants to go home with her baby. She assures him that she will follow-up to meet with him.
Phillips loves the new baby, that they have named Daniel. She really falls off and only cares for him. Glaser constantly calls, but she doesn’t answer and she is increasingly becoming concerned. Phillips doesn’t even really let Murray see him all that much. She even encourages him to go back to work. Murray does find some dead mice outside of the house by the trash can. He also hears something in the vents while he is in the bathroom. He thinks there are mice inside the walls as well. There is also a scene where Murray goes to play with Daniel in his crib and he cuts him with a nail as he starts to cry.
We then see Phillips nursing Daniel and he bites her nipple to the point that it draws blood. We even see when she pumps milk into bottles that there is blood in it. He also is able to hold his head up and roll over, things that take months for a baby to be able to do and he has just came home. The baby seems to keep getting out and killing animals. Phillips has to keep taking them away from him, telling him he shouldn’t be eating that.
Phillips continues to descent into madness from love and wanting to hide what her baby is doing. It becomes a problem when she doesn’t want to leave the house, even for dinner with her boyfriend. Teale forces her to meet with the psychologist, but she doesn’t give him anything. When he comes to the house, Daniel kills him and Phillips has to hide that body as well.
Coleman knows there is something up, but can’t prove it. Murray doesn’t see it due to his love for both of them. What will happen with Daniel? Can he be stopped before it gets out of hand? What can you do with a baby that when it gets scared kills and eats animals?
I have to say that I have seen the original trilogy and loved it for the campy films that they are. Is the concept slightly outrageous? Yes, but there is something to this idea that is realistic. A mother’s love can blind them from realizing what their baby is doing no matter how horrible and not be able to stop it. I can believe that part of Phillips character. I also liked that they explain at the end what happened and why Daniel is the way that he is. Phillips tried to abort the baby and took some pills she got online. It didn’t work, but it mutated him into the creature that he is. This film uses CGI for the baby, but they don’t show it a lot, which I think works. We do see it at the end and I like that. Sometimes it hurts a film for me if we see it too much and can analyze how it looks.
This film unfortunately is not as good as the original for me. There are so many things that I didn’t buy and lost the realism. Now you might wonder how realistic a film like this really is. You have to bend some of your beliefs to enjoy it, but not all. The first is that they wouldn’t let Murray in the delivery room. I don’t believe they would keep him out, even if there was an emergency. I know for a fact I was born by c-section and my dad was in the room during it. It would seem that they did this so they could kill all of the doctors and nurses, but hurts the film for me. I don’t know if Teale would be legally allowed to force Phillips to come in and talk to the psychologist like he claims. I also have issues with the baby. We don’t see it a lot, which is fine. My question is, when he is laying in the crib do they not notice it is mutated? Does it look like a normal baby? I think this should have been established, but it wasn’t. This film also has a low running time, but I found that I was slightly bored through quite a bit of it. Once the baby starts to kill people, it ends with a flurry, but outside of that we don’t get a lot.
Now with that said, I would probably avoid this film. The original is much better, but even that one is a campy horror film and you need to keep in mind that it is low-budget. This one visually looks much better, but the film isn’t as good. The concept is good, especially the idea of loving your children no matter what and wanting to defend them. There are a lot of issues with this film that bothered me. Plus despite the low running time, it surprisingly was boring at times. This film was below average to me, because it could have been much better.
My Rating: 4 out of 10