Baby Blues (2008)
Reviewed by Johnny Butane
Starring Colleen Porch, Ridge Canipe, Joel Bryant, Kali Majors
Directed by Lars E. Jacobson & Amardeep Kaleka
There really is nothing more touching than a tale of a mother’s love for her children. With this knowledge in mind, directors Jacobson & Kaleka twisted that love into a new, far more twisted shapes and came out on the other end with Baby Blues.
Yes, the title refers to the eyes of one of the principal characters, but in actuality the film is about having the blues because of babies. Four of them to be precise, each a few years older than the other. Young Jimmy (Canipe) is the oldest, so he’s the one who first begins to notice that there’s something very wrong with his mother (Porch), who is taking care of her fourth child, now about a year old, alone while her husband is out on the road.
He’s a trucker, you see, and not really a bad man at all. He’s just gone a lot of the time and his absence is having some pretty serious effect on his family. None more so than his wife, though, who is giving to bouts of wracking sobs while trying to hang laundry, proceeded and followed by with furious, breathless prayer.
One night her husband hits the road again after only being home for less than a day, and finally it’s too much for her. She snaps, starts breaking things in the middle of dinner, and then calmly walks away with the baby to the upstairs bedroom. Jimmy, trying to keep his younger brother and sister calm, starts cleaning up, but soon he decides to check on his mother and discovers the horrible truth. His baby brother is dead, and she’s preparing to take care of the rest of her kids.
After his mother tries to drown his sister and he knocks her out, Jimmy get his brother onto a bike and tells him to ride for help while trying to get his sister to safety. None of them make it very far since she comes around pretty quick, and from them on the movie becomes and almost by-the-numbers stalk-n-slash, complete with cheesy one-liners spouted off by the mother. It’s a very strange juxtaposition consider who she’s stalking, her own children, but even down the way she dispatches them is standard serial killer stuff.
So it’s very hard to call Baby Blues anything too original. The only thing it has going for in that department is the fact that these are kids, real kids not high school kids, who are in danger and that it’s their own mother out to kill them, which does add a pretty disturbing layer to the proceedings. That disturbing element is usually offset whenever the mother opens her mouth, spouting some of the film’s most inane lines, as well as the ending, which just made me want to punch out the father who had seemed like such a normal, level-headed guy for most of the movie.
One thing that sets Baby Blues apart from most of the direct-to-DVD horrors is the acting, which is top-notch from all involved. When she’s not saying ridiculous one-liners while stalking her children, Porch does a great job of being just an absolutely tortured mother figure, a woman who looks from her first moment on screen to be at the end of her rope. It doesn’t hurt that she’s gorgeous, either; she’s got a definite Angelina Jolie vibe going on that I can’t help but appreciate.
So while not anything you really haven’t seen before, Baby Blues still gets points for dealing with a subject most people won’t come anywhere near; filicide (the killing of a child by one’s parents), I just wish that it had been dealt with in a slightly more intelligent way. There’s really no significance to Baby Blues other than a desire to shock the audience and the ending certainly didn’t offer any kind of reasonable closure, it just did what any self-respecting slasher movie does; set itself up for a sequel.
If you’re all right with the concept, though, check it out when it hits DVD. There’s a lot worse stuff out there than Baby Blues, that’s for sure.
3 out of 5
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